Investment casting of Ti–46Al–8Nb–1B alloy using moulds with CaO-stabilized zirconia face coat at various mould pre-heat temperatures

C. Yuan, X. Cheng, Grant Holt, D. Shevchenko, Paul Withey

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Casting of titanium based alloys presents considerable problems including the extensive interactions that occur between the metal and refractory. An investigation was undertaken to develop a zirconia facecoat suitable to replace current zircon/silica facecoat used in investment casting titanium aluminide alloys. The stability of the zirconia slurry was assessed using pH, viscosity and plate weight, and the mould properties such as friability, strength and permeability were measured. The interaction between the zirconia face coat and a Ti–46Al–8Nb–1B alloy was studied by centrifugal investment casting at three mould pre-heating temperatures. Computer simulation of metal cooling profiles during casting was also carried out to assist the analysis. In this work, a stable zirconia slurry was developed, and the moulds produced using a zirconia facecoat have comparable mechanical properties and better permeability than those made of the traditional zircon/silica facecoat. The friability of the zirconia facecoat was much improved in comparison to that made of yttria face coat. During casting, metal non-fill defects were presented at a low preheat mould temperature of 500 °C. The interaction products found between the metal and mould included a combined (Ti, Zr)5(Si, Al)3 and ZrAl2 phases, a re-precipitated ZrO2 phase, and a Al2O3 film at the interface. The interaction between mould and metal also caused a high hardness at the interface due to oxygen penetration, which varied with samples using different mould pre-heat temperatures. The suggestion has been made that the mould pre-heat temperature should be less than 1200 °C.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4129-4139
JournalCeramics International
Issue number3
Early online date1 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • D. ZrO2
  • Facecoat
  • Investment casting
  • Titanium aluminide


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