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Home » News » SBIR Award : Microelectromechanical systems/Nano-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS/NEMS) High Temperature Thermal Barrier Coatings

SBIR Award : Microelectromechanical systems/Nano-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS/NEMS) High Temperature Thermal Barrier Coatings

2/04/09

We propose to continue developing a potentially revolutionary technological innovation: advanced coatings that will significantly increase the efficiency, lifetime and reliability of gas-turbine engines. In addition, these coatings can be applied to a range of existing and future military hardware that require protection from harsh environments. Despite the tremendous improvements in coating technologies to enable huge increases in operational temperatures, continued advances using conventional, purely materials-science approaches have resulted in diminishing marginal returns in the last 25 years. The problem is that the turbine blades heat up as a result of conductive and radiative heat transport. Using various fabrication methods, we will develop techniques to imbed structure within thermal-barrier coatings (TBCs) that will decrease their thermal conductivity by a factor of 2, thereby attenuating phonon transport of heat and providing the means to (1) increase turbine-blade lifetime by 10X and (2) attain considerably higher operating efficiencies by operating the engines at significantly higher temperatures (500 degrees F higher than present technology). These revolutionary improvements will save the government several billion dollars annually as a result of lower operating cost and cost-of-ownership of our military assets. In Phase II we will test and demonstrate systems that are designed to minimize heat transport in materials that are appropriate for TBCs.

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