TiAl-Based Alloys for Exhaust Valve Applications 930620
The recent development of TiAl-based alloys by the aerospace community has provided an excellent material alternative for hot components in automotive engines. The low density combined with an elevated temperature strength similar to that of Ni-base superalloys make TiAl-based alloys very attractive for exhaust valve applications. Lighter weight valvetrain components improve performance and permit the use of lower valve spring loads which reduce noise and friction and enhance fuel economy. However, difficult fabricability and a perception that TiAl alloys are high cost, low volume aerospace materials must be overcome in order to permit consideration for use in high-volume automotive applications. This paper provides a comparison of properties for several exhaust valve alternative materials. The density of TiAl alloys is lower than Ti alloys with creep and fatigue properties equivalent to IN-751, a current high performance exhaust valve material. Valve testing results, manufacturing alternatives for TiAl-based valves, and technical issues impeding development and implementation of TiAl-based exhaust valves are also discussed.