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Title: Abradable coatings : from black art, to materials science
Author: Hopkins, Noel Paul
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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Suck, squeeze, bang, blow! The efficiency and performance of a gas turbine engine relies on the ability to maintain high gas pressure ratios, throughout each stage of the compressor. To do this, engine manufacturers must minimise gas leakage over compressor blade and seal fin tips. Increasing the efficiency of the gas turbine engine is an area of enormous importance to engine manufacturers worldwide. The rewards are obvious when it is considered that a modest improvement of 0.5 to 1% to the Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) can translate to huge savings on fuel costs. One way in which engine manufacturers are looking to do this is through the use of abradable seals, which are used to help seal the engine and reduce air leakage over blade tips. In an attempt to gain a fundamental understanding of abradable materials, this thesis discusses research carried out as part of an Engineering Doctorate. The research focuses on three key topic areas, identified as necessary for generating a robust understanding of the complete coating life. The research carried out within this EngD programme has helped to generate a fundamental understanding of abradable materials by focusing on three key topic areas: i) Development of Test Methodology ii) Definition of Performance Drivers iii) Implementation of Technology Within these topic areas programmes of work have been carried out, which aim to fill gaps in current knowledge and provide the knowledge and techniques for future coating development. Significant advances have been made in all aspects of abradable understanding and the knowledge generated is now being successfully implemented within the Rolls-Royce Abradable Strategy. As the demands from regulators and airlines for greater aero engine performance increase, the need for reliable and effective compressor sealing will become evermore critical. The knowledge and techniques developed within this EngD programme will enable further detailed understanding of the science of abradable materials.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available