Study of Inclusions in a Failed Aero-Engine Component
The cause of the fatigue failure in the retaining ring of the compressor region of an aero-engine turbine was found to be the presence of a high concentration of nonmetallic inclusions. The results of chemical analysis were used to estimate the phases present. The most frequently observed inclusions were spinel solid solutions of the type MO middot; N2O3, where M = Fe, Mn, or Mg and N = Cr or Al. The detrimental inclusions were corundum, calcium aluminates, cristobalite, and silicates. The most detrimental phases were traced on the surfaces of the specimens fractured using impact loading; the comparison is being made with the polished surfaces and the tensile specimen fracture surfaces. The inclusions in the failed retaining ring were compared with the ones in a similar component obtained from a used engine. In the case of the latter, a large number of fine and elongated (Mn, Cr, Fe)S inclusions were present along with spinels. The nondeformable, rigid oxide particles are considered more undesirable than the sulfides as far as fatigue life of the component is concerned. It has been reported that the presence of sulfides may eliminate the stresses due to oxides.