Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Fake diamonds help jet engines take the heat

Natin Padture
Natin Padture

Abstract:
Ohio State University engineers are developing a technology to coat jet engine turbine blades with zirconium dioxide -- commonly called zirconia, the stuff of synthetic diamonds -- to combat high-temperature corrosion.

Fake diamonds help jet engines take the heat

COLUMBUS, OH | Posted on March 17th, 2008

The zirconia chemically converts sand and other corrosive particles that build up on the blade into a new, protective outer coating. In effect, the surface of the engine blade constantly renews itself.

Ultimately, the technology could enable manufacturers to use new kinds of heat-resistant materials in engine blades, so that engines will be able to run hotter and more efficiently.

Nitin Padture, professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State, said that he had military aircraft in mind when he began the project. He was then a professor at the University of Connecticut.

"In the desert, sand is sucked into the engines during takeoffs and landings, and then you have dust storms," he said. "But even commercial aircraft and power turbines encounter small bits of sand or other particles, and those particles damage turbine blades."

Jet engines operate at thousands of degrees Fahrenheit, and blades in the most advanced engines are coated with a thin layer of temperature-resistant, thermally-insulating ceramic to protect the metal blades. The coating -- referred to as a thermal-barrier coating -- is designed like an accordion to expand and contract with the metal.

The problem: When sand hits the hot engine blade it melts -- and becomes glass.

"Molten glass is one of the nastiest substances around. It will dissolve anything," Padture said.

The hot glass chews into the ceramic coating. But the real damage happens after the engine cools, and the glass solidifies into an inflexible glaze on top of the ceramic. When the engine heats up again and the metal blades expand, the ceramic coating can't expand, because the glaze has locked it in place. The ceramic breaks off, shortening the life of the engine blades.

In a recent issue of the journal Acta Materialia, Padture and his colleagues described how the new coating forces the glass to absorb chemicals that will convert it into a harmless -- and even helpful -- ceramic.
The problem: When sand hits the hot engine blade it melts -- and becomes glass. "Molten glass is one of the nastiest substances around. It will dissolve anything," Padture said.

The key, Padture said, is that the coating contains aluminum and titanium atoms hidden inside zirconia crystals. When the glass consumes the zirconia, it also consumes the aluminum and titanium. Once the glass accumulates enough of these elements, it changes from a molten material into a stable crystal, and it stops eating the ceramic.

"The glass literally becomes a new ceramic coating on top of the old one. Then, when new glass comes in, the same thing will happen again. It's like it's constantly renewing the coating on the surface of the turbine," Padture said.

Padture's former university has applied for a patent on the technique that he devised for embedding the aluminum and titanium into the zirconia. He's partnering with Inframat Corp., a nanotechnology company in Connecticut, to further develop the technology.

Padture stressed that the technology is in its infancy. He has yet to apply the coatings to complex shapes, and cost is a barrier as well: the process is energy-consuming.

But if that cost eventually came down and the technology matured, the payoff could be hotter engines that burn fuel more efficiently and create less pollution. Manufacturers would be able to use more sophisticated ceramics that boost the heat-resistance of engines. Eventually, technology could go beyond aircraft and power-generator turbines and extend to automobiles as well, Padture said.

His coauthors on the Acta Materialia paper included Ohio State doctoral student Aysegul Aygun, who is doing this work for her dissertation; former postdoctoral researcher Alexander Vasiliev, who is now at the Russian Academy of Sciences; and Xinqing Ma, a scientist at Inframat Corp.

This research was funded by the Office of Naval Research and Naval Air Systems Command.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Nitin Padture
(614) 247-8114


Written by:
Pam Frost Gorder
(614) 292-9475

Copyright © Ohio State University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels May 22nd, 2019

Neutrons unlock the secrets of limoncello May 21st, 2019

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

Discoveries

Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels May 22nd, 2019

Neutrons unlock the secrets of limoncello May 21st, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

ZEN gets $1m grant for graphene-enhanced concrete project May 12th, 2019

Computing faster with quasi-particles May 10th, 2019

Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries: Rice, Texas A&M, UTHealth scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant April 25th, 2019

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials April 19th, 2019

Announcements

Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels May 22nd, 2019

Neutrons unlock the secrets of limoncello May 21st, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Magnetoresistive sensors for near future innovative development March 22nd, 2019

Organic semiconductors: One transistor for all purposes March 22nd, 2019

Lightweight metal foams become bone hard and explosion proof after being nanocoated March 14th, 2019

Flipping the view: New microscope offers options for drug discovery, safety and effectiveness February 28th, 2019

Military

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

Army discovery opens path to safer batteries May 10th, 2019

Self-powered wearable tech May 8th, 2019

Aerospace/Space

Better microring sensors for optical applications May 10th, 2019

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

New hybrid energy method could fuel the future of rockets, spacecraft for exploration: Nontraditional route shown to increase performance, burn rate April 9th, 2019

VP Pence Announces Humans on Moon by 2024 April 2nd, 2019

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project