The challenge was to produce a low-cost Cooled Integrally Vaned Stator (CIVS) casting with internal cooling channels and cooling holes. To address this need, PERFECT-3D designed a mold with an integral core and “cast-in” cooling on the concave, convex, and trailing edge of the airfoils.
Working with the completed design, the PERFECT-3D team created 3D CAD models of an injection die for the center hub. The injection die was 3D-printed using a fiber-reinforced resin.
The vanes were then 3D-printed as individual integral core/molds from PERFECT-3D proprietary slurry. The ceramic vanes were generated in quantities to support the overall mold assembly (the core/mold photo shows the pins that create the cast-in cooling holes).
The PERFECT-3D team worked with a foundry partner to define the gating and integrate into the 3D-printed mold assembly. The ceramic molds and wax hub were then placed in 3D-printed fixtures to complete the mold assembly. The assembled mold was delivered to the foundry to produce a nickel casting.
The CIVS geometry is complex and the need for cast-in cooling holes necessitated tooling production via ceramic additive manufacturing. Molds can be produced in weeks, not months, with lower cost to create development and production parts. Ceramic additive manufacturing presents great opportunities for more complex designs without the associated higher cost of hard tooling.