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Aviation – jet propulsion

Thermal management of components in the hot sections of jet engines is critical to the development of more efficient engines and therefore to the delivery of the industry’s ambitious emissions reductions targets. To date there are no methods available providing component temperature mapping without data gaps, without REACH restrictions or without specific commercial restrictions. This is a recognised industry need highlighted by relevant organisations in Europe (EVI-GTI) and the US (PIWG).

Operating jet engines under ever increasing firing temperatures requires new cooling designs, such as complex internal cooling labyrinths or new material solutions such as parts made of CMC (ceramic-matrix-composites). The introduction of additive manufacturing (‘3D printing’) will enable designers to turn around new designs in significantly less time. This might leave the classical thermal validation process of new designs as the bottleneck.

To address this need, SCS is developing thermal history sensors for use in extreme environments inside gas turbines and jet engines. This patented technology comprises sensors with memory that record the temperature to which they have been exposed so that it can be read out off-line. During the development programme thermal history paints (THP) and thermal history coatings (THC) have been applied on several engine components during engine testing and rig testing. Additionally, Sensor Coating Systems’ thermal mapping technology decreases the time needed for validation by providing an automated measuring system, mapping temperature distribution directly onto the designer’s CAD drawing.

Example application areas:

  • Hot gas path components e.g. turbine blades, nozzle guide vanes, combustion chamber
  • Difficult to access components such as drive shafts, disks or blisks

Benefits of the technology:

  • Continuous temperature profiling to detect critical areas
  • Accurate operating temperature measurement
  • No access required during operation
  • Enhanced maintenance data
  • Non-destructive analysis
  • Warranty claims

Sensor Coating Systems works with some of the main manufacturers of the jet engine market in Europe and the USA.

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