Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanoparticle based coating for aircraft engines may triple service life and reduce fuel consumption

20.03.2014

Researchers at University West in Sweden have started using nanoparticles in the heat-insulating surface layer that protects aircraft engines from heat. In tests, this increased the service life of the coating by 300%. This is something that interests the aircraft industry to a very great degree, and the hope is that motors with the new layers will be in production within two years.

To increase the service life of aircraft engines, a heat-insulating surface layer is sprayed on top of the metal components. Thanks to this extra layer, the engine is shielded from heat. The temperature can also be raised, which leads to increased efficiency, reduced emissions, and decreased fuel consumption.

The goal of the University West research group is to be able to control the structure of the surface layer in order to increase its service life and insulating capability. They have used different materials in their work.

"The base is a ceramic powder, but we have also tested adding plastic to generate pores that make the material more elastic,” says Nicholas Curry, who has just presented his doctoral thesis on the subject.

The ceramic layer is subjected to great stress when the enormous changes in temperature make the material alternately expand and contract. Making the layer elastic is therefore important. Over the last few years, the researchers have focused on further refining the microstructure, all so that the layer will be of interest for the industry to use.

“We have tested the use of a layer that is formed from nanoparticles. The particles are so fine that we aren’t able to spray the powder directly onto a surface. Instead, we first mix the powder with a liquid that is then sprayed. This is called suspension plasma spray application.

Dr Curry and his colleagues have since tested the new layer thousands of times in what are known as “thermal shock tests” to simulate the temperature changes in an aircraft engine. It has turned out that the new coating layer lasts at least three times as long as a conventional layer while it has low heat conduction abilities.

"An aircraft motor that lasts longer does not need to undergo expensive, time-consuming “service” as often; this saves the aircraft industry money. The new technology is also significantly cheaper than the conventional technology, which means that more businesses will be able to purchase the equipment." 

Research at University West is conducted in close collaboration with aircraft engine manufacturer GKN Aerospace (formerly Volvo Aero) and Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery, which makes gas turbines. The idea is that the new layer will be used in both aircraft engines and gas turbines within two years.

What happens to the material over longer periods of time?

One of the most important issues for the researchers to solve is how they can monitor what happens to the structure of the coating over time, and to understand how the microstructure in the layer works.

“A conventional surface layer looks like a sandwich, with layer upon layer. The surface layer we produce with the new method can be compared more to standing columns. This makes the layer more flexible and easier to monitor. And it adheres to the metal, regardless of whether the surface is completely smooth or not. The most important thing is not the material itself, but how porous it is,” Dr Curry says.

The surface layers on aircraft engine and gas turbines are called the thermal barrier coating and they are manufactured using a method called thermal spray application. A ceramic powder is sprayed onto a surface at a very high temperature–7,000 to 8,000 degrees C–using a plasma stream. The ceramic particles melt and strike the surface, where they form a protective layer that is approximately half a millimetre thick. 

For more information, contact:


Doctor Nicholas Curry, e-mail: nicholas.curry@hv.se,

telephone:0520-22 32 33

Professor Per Nylén, e-mail: per.nylen@hv.se,

telephone:0520-22 33 58, mobile: 0733-97 50 61

Karin Nobis | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: conventional elastic heat materials particles powder temperature

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests
15.12.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>