Rolls-Royce Aerospace are in the process of materials selection and design of next generation geared turbofan engines. The choice of materials for power gearbox shafts, sprockets and teeth has yet to be made and our proposed new steels (MATLeS) will be considered as candidates. Rolls-Royce have made clear their commitment in two fields. Firstly, the requirement for novel gearbox technology for next generation high by-pass turbofan engines; secondly a commitment to e-mobility in the look forward to possible electric driven aircraft technologies. In both areas the Company is excited at the prospect of our proposed designs in MATLeS. In addition, at the suggestion of Rolls-Royce, we will establish a project to evaluate carburising and carbonitriding surface treatments in order to offer enhanced surface hardness to an already hard material.
Rolls-Royce write: The development of disruptive technology in the form of multiphase martensitic steels which avoid the need for tempering and will produce as quenched tough lean low cost resource efficient steel will be a game changer for next generation of steels for future gear steels and components for electric engine technology.
… and: The inclusion in the proposal of advanced physics based modelling methods is also consistent with Rolls-Royce's strategy for applying such methods to improve the development of advanced materials through cost effective and faster introduction to market.
The automotive sector, customer to thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, is continually searching for ways to improve efficiency and safety. For internal combustion engines, developing steels with higher strength and higher ductility has, and will, allow for weight reduction and increased component complexity. However, for e-mobility, the drivers are somewhat different, with impact resistance being more important than weight saving. Many components could have a simpler geometry but have even higher strength requirements in order to reduce intrusion of the battery room during high impact incidents. In order for e-mobility to become a viable alternative for mass production, the labour-intensive aluminium prototypes for battery housing need to be replaced by steel resulting in cost reduction and improved recyclability. Martensitic steels with a low to moderate alloy content and high strength can fulfill this emerging need.
thyssenkrupp Steel Europe write: The content of the proposed project promises fundamental insights into the development of new high-strength martensitic steels, which we believe will deliver a decisive contribution towards making e-mobility accessible for the masses.