High Temperature On-Engine Structural Health Monitoring and Sensing

Abstract

This project aims to develop new sensors for inspection and monitoring of operational parameters and defects in aeroengines. In the short term, the project will enable a new range of instruments capable of inspecting the engines on the ground, either whilst powered or shortly after shutdown. In the longer term, the sensors will be fully integrated into the engines to provide continuous data during flight. The sensors will effectively be either highly sensitive microphones to monitor acoustic emission from various components in the engine, or ultrasound imaging sensors. Although such acoustic and ultrasound technology is relatively common, there are no devices that are able to operate aeroengine operating temperatures. In order to develop equipment that will work under such harsh conditions, the consortium will employ a relatively new high temperature piezoelectric material that is proprietary to the lead organization, Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd. This material can operate at temperatures up to 580C.

The project will develop new manufacturing techniques to deposit thick films of the piezoelectric material on high temperature substrates and configure them electrical to produce instruments that can inspect hot engines during post-flight maintenance. In the longer term, up to 5 years beyond the end of the project, the sensors will be integrated onto test engines and finally onto flight engines to monitor performance in flight.

The implementation of the new sensors will increase the reliability of engines, reduce their fuel consumption and reduce their noise footprint. The resulting increased performance of engines will result in increased sales for engine manufacturers (primarily Rolls-Royce), with a positive financial impact for the UK.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd, LEEDS £399,497 £ 199,749
 

Participant

Lucideon Limited, Stoke-on-Trent £187,594 £ 93,797
The Victoria University of Manchester £128,533 £ 128,533

Publications

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