SAMULET Project 1 - High Efficiency Turbomachinery

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Applied Sciences

Abstract

The project aims to reduce the environmental impact of gas turbines by improving their efficiency. It also aims to reduce their lifecycle cost. Air transport demand is predicted to double in the next 10 - 15 years and triple in 20 years time. In order to enable sustained growth, whilst limiting the environmental impact of air transport in the future, the Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe (ACARE) has set challenging targets for emission levels from gas turbines. Improvements in efficiency and increased operating temperature capability are required to address these issues. The reduction in fuel burn anticipated from the project can be converted to a reduction of 836 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted per aircraft per year. To achieve this large reduction a multifaceted approach is necessary. Hence, the project is split into a number of work packages (WP) covering cooling, aerodynamics, aeromechanical interaction and materials. The latter facilitates a wider design space for the former packages and hence all packages are interlinked. The project forms part of the larger SAMULET programme. The cross-disciplinary approach being taken, in this programme, is expected to deliver greater technical capability when compared to previous more narrowly defined research.
 
Description Note - This project was extended and completed on 30/11/13.

A major aim of the SAMULET 1 was to reduce the lifecycle costs and environmental impact of gas turbines by improving the efficiency of turbomachinery. Cranfield university's involvement in this TSB project was in the development of new high temperature coating systems (WP 1.1) and in the understanding of ice accretion on the fan blades (WP: 1.9).



In WP 1.1, two new high temperature coating systems have been developed, life performance assessed and transferred into Rolls Royces supply chain as a route to commercial manufacture. These are 1. a new bondcoat for a thermal barrier coating system and 2. a corrosion protection coating system. Both coating systems achieved the aim of increasing blade lifetime by at least a factor of x2.

Further, the aim was to develop methods to assess the durability of high temperature coating systems under cyclic oxidation, hot corrosion and corrosion-fatigue conditions. Probablistic life models, capable of predicting the 'risk of failure', have been developed for aerofoil component geometries, thus extending further Cranfield's research into high temperature probablistic lifetime modelling.
Hence the achievements were:
1. Establishment of a risk based lifing methodology for thermal barrier coatings based on the statistical analysis of cyclic oxidation data.
2. Identification of improvements to current bondcoat technologies and manufacturing methods offering an improvement in thermal barrier coating lifetime by a factor of x2. These improvements include control of trace sulphur and phosporus levels and the optimisation of the bondcoat surface finish prior to the deposition of the zirconia based thermal barrier top coat.
3. Development of a new NiPtCr diffusion coating resistant to type II hot corrosion and underplatform corrosion giving a x3 increase in component life.

In WP 1.9, the behaviour of ice at different temperatures has been studied; how this affects the ice's properties, its accretion and shedding behaviour. This icing behaviour has been modelled and CFD and FE analysis have been used to validate these ice shedding models.
Exploitation Route The major success of this SAMULET programme may be measured by the 'take-up' of the technologies by Rolls Royce and its supply chain. This has specifically been addressed by the exploitation report produced by Rolls Royce for the TSB. Extracting from this report, the coating benefits of this work, when fully commercialised, would be worth £100M over a 10 year base for engines of the Trent family. While the better understanding of icing mechanics, would allow new system designs saving £1M on new engines to be built.



Additionally, this SAMULET programme has seen a transfer of young talented engineers and experienced research staff into industry, support the aero-engine market sector. The primary route to expoitation is through Rolls Royce plc and its supply chain.

The new, improved bondcoat technology, increases current blade life by a factor of x2. This benefit, if implimented, would allow Rolls Royce to increase turbine entry temperature, whilst achieving the same projected engine life,thus increasing the available power and reducing emissions such as CO2, due to an increase in thermal efficiency and the associated savings on fuel burn.

Understanding ice build up and shedding, will allow systems to be developed with Rolls Royce that limit ice accretion, mitigating the potential damage to fan blades and the compressor due to ballistic impact as a result of ice shedding.



In terms of the exploitation of academic outputs, the PI and both CoI's have been asked to present keynote papers in their specialist research areas. Research papers have been published in peer reviewed journals and as a result of such communications new research proposals have been developed and funded.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

 
Description Low K thermal barrier coatings are now specified for the Trent 1000 family of Rolls Royce engines. This TBC system benefits from the new bondcoat technologies developed in this programme. Within the programme stochastic models for lifing TBCs were developed that included both compositional and manufacturing variables. These models have been implimented within Rolls Royce as part of a lifing stratergy for TBCs. Since this research, methodologies to assess both erosion and CMAS damage have been further developed, through the understanding of materials behaviour and processing variables, allowing extension of the models to encompass new ceramic/new bondcoat combinations. Subsequent to this grant, the methods developed to co-dope and sequential dope TBCs with lanthenide additions has allowed self diagnostic, temperature sensing TBCs to be developed.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Advanced Surface Protection for Improved Renewable Energy (ASPIRE)
Amount £199,996 (GBP)
Funding ID 16895-122151 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2015
 
Description Flexible and Efficient Power Plant
Amount £1,997,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K021095/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2013 
End 02/2018
 
Description MALIT - Material and Lifing Improvements in Turbines
Amount £1,189,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 113180 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2022
 
Description Multi-layered CMAS Resistant Thermal Barrier Coatings
Amount £79,896 (GBP)
Funding ID STC 32729 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description Multi-layered CMAS Resistant Thermal Barrier Coatings (phase 2)
Amount £62,180 (GBP)
Funding ID STC 32872 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 12/2019
 
Description New Bondcoat Technologies
Amount £62,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 50022704223 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 07/2014
 
Description New Bondcoat Technologies
Amount £62,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 50022704223 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 07/2014
 
Description Samulet 2: CMAS and Volcanic Ash Resistant Coatings
Amount £202,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2009 
End 12/2013