STTR Phase I: Optical NDI of Thermal Barrier Coatings

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0741192
Agency Tracking Number: 0741192
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
1570 PACHECO ST STE E11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505
DUNS: 153579891
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andrei Vakhtin
 PhD
 (505) 984-1322
 avakhtin@swsciences.com
Business Contact
 Andrei Vakhtin
Title: PhD
Phone: (505) 984-1322
Email: avakhtin@swsciences.com
Research Institution
 University of Connecticut
 Carol Welt
 438 Whitney Road
Unit 1133
Storrs, CT, 6269
 (860) 486-3726
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project will demonstrate an optical non-destructive inspection (NDI) method for thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), based on a combination of Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) and photo-stimulated luminescence piezo-spectroscopy (PLPS). TBCs are widely used in aircraft engines to protect metal components from high operating temperatures in order to improve the durability and engine efficiency. Coating spallation can lead to premature component failure; therefore, there is a need for NDI technologies to detect early damage and assess the TBC remaining life. Key innovations include coupling FD-OCT to super-continuum light source technology to enhance the subsurface imaging quality and synergistic combination of FD-OCT and PLPS to provide a more robust TBC remaining life assessment. Successful completion of this program will result in a novel NDI technology, which will result in maximizing the use life of TBC-coated components of aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines, leading to significant cost savings. It will also be useful for NDI of other ceramic coatings and a variety of composites. The intended markets include turbine manufacturing and maintenance facilities, industrial research laboratories and government. This technology will have impact on material research, and the turbine engine and power industries.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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