MEMS/NEMS High Temperature Thermal Barrier Coatings
Small Business Information
15 WARD STREET, SOMERVILLE, MA, 02143
AbstractWe propose to develop a potentially revolutionary technological innovation that will significantly increase the efficiency, lifetime and reliability of gas-turbine engines. 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 MEMS-fabrication methods, we will develop a technique to imbed structure within the thermal-barrier coatings (TBCs) currently bonded to turbine blades that will decrease the thermal conductivity by a factor of 2, thereby attenuating phonon transport of heat and providing the means to (1) increase turbine-blade lifetime and (2) attain considerably higher operating efficiencies by operating the engines at significantly higher temperatures. In Phase I we will (1) fully characterize and design the requisite imbedded structure; and (2) fabricate test samples and measure the decrease in their thermal conductivity. In Phase II we will demonstrate an optimal system-fabricated utilizing MEMS technology-that is designed to minimize phonon heat transport in materials that are appropriate for TBCs.
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