SBIR Phase I: Zirconia Syntactic Foam for Abradable Seal Thermal Barrier Coating (TBC) applications
This Small Busines Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program will investigate a state-of-the-art abradable seal concept for use in high temperature turbine applications. The proposed concept is a thin dual layer zirconia-based syntactic foam that acts both as an abradable seal for better tolerance in the turbine between the blades and the wall, and as a thermal barrier coating (TBC) to limit temperature exposure to the wall substrate preventing melting and/or failure. A yitria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) matrix will permit the use of this concept in the higher operating temperatures of the turbine engine (1200 C capable), compared to the currently used alloys and thermal spray coatings that are limited to use below 1200oC. The syntactic foam offers engineered structure, allowing extremely ordered and uniform porosity though each layer and the ability to control porosity, abradability, and thermal conductivity in each layer independently. These advantages over other materials will allow the syntactic foam to be accurately designed for specific applications, and will improve engine performance, efficiency, and longevity. These advances will directly benefit industries such as power generation, aerospace, and others that employ abradable seal turbine technology.
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