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Engineered Parts & Solutions

Heat shield increases the efficiency of aircraft turbines

Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new ceramic surface treatment designed to make aircraft more economical, environmentally friendly, and robust. Demand for the process, which is also suitable for corrosion protection, is already high.

07 Oct. 2019
Heat shield increases the efficiency of aircraft turbines (Photo: Fraunhofer IWS Dresden)

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS have added yttrium-stabilized zirconium oxide to water to form a suspension. The mixture can be sprayed onto turbine blades or other aircraft parts quickly and comparatively cost-effectively. They can then operate at higher temperatures than uncoated components. This means that efficiency is increased and cooling costs reduced, which in turn lowers fuel consumption. The technology has already been implemented in industrial application together with a Swiss plant manufacturer.

Heat shields are used in many industrial sectors. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies , for instance, has developed a shield designed to prevent battery systems from overheating. The background to this is that due to the increased energy density of such systems, developers of lithium-ion batteries need to satisfy ever higher safety requirements. It is especially crucial to keep a single damaged cell from overheating the entire module.

The Fraunhofer researchers’ process is intended to open up further fields of application. For example, work is currently underway on a ‘sacrificial layer’ that will not flake off immediately, even when coming into contact with aggressive compounds. This will allow sensitive machines used for chip production, for example, to be better protected against corrosion.