Advanced Ceramic Matrix Composites for Energy Generating Gas Turbine Applications

Lead Participant: Rolls-Royce plc


The purpose of this project is to develop the technology required for the implementation of an oxide/oxide ceramic matrix composite (CMC) in gas turbine applications. The ability to use oxide/oxide CMC’s for components in the combustor and turbine of the gas turbine would provide a step change in component temperature capability, enabling higher operating temperatures, improved engine efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions relative to the nickel based alloys currently used in these applications.
CMCs that offer these capabilities are being developed outside of the UK, but these materials are expensive and export controls or competitive barriers exist for the materials and/or the key enabling technologies required for their implementation. Therefore, developing a UK capability for the manufacture and implementation of a high temperature CMC, as undertaken in this programme, offers significant technical and financial benefits for high tech industries operating from within the UK.
To address the requirements for a material with a higher temperature capability than the nickel-based superalloys, an oxide/oxide CMC previously developed by Birmingham University (UoB) using a novel process route, that offers considerable benefits over the current technology, will be further developed within the programme and the technology transitioned from the laboratory environment to one of the industrial partners for adaptation and scaling of the process. Other elements of the programme include the manufacture of laminates and sub-elements in the CMC; the development of a thermal/abradable coating for the CMC; the characterisation of the material in terms of its physical and mechanical properties and failure/degredation mechanisms; assessment of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques for examining the laminates and sub-elements; the development of a lifing methodology for oxide/oxide CMC’s; a review of potential repair techniques for CMCs and their coatings; and sub-element validation testing to prove the efficacy of the manufacturing processes, design concepts and lifing methods established during the programme.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Rolls-Royce plc, United Kingdom £1,051,422 £ 198,193


Swansea University, United Kingdom £258,698
Cytec Industrial Materials (Derby) Limited, HEANOR £394,805 £ 197,403
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom £429,852


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