Structural Metallic Systems For Advanced Gas Turbine Applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Metallurgy and Materials

Abstract

Dwindling resources and climate change are forcing engineering designers to utilise materials and energy supplies withever-greater efficiency. It is argued that cuts in CO2 emissions of between 60-90% must be achieved if irreversibleclimate change is to be avoided.At present, almost all aircraft propulsion and over 1/3 of the UK's total generating capacity rely on gas turbines. Theirflexibility and efficiency compared with the alternatives mean that their use in power generation is predicted todramatically increase for the foreseeable future. Similarly, a substantial growth in air travel is also predicted withpassenger numbers forecast to double or triple by 2050. Achieving drastic reductions in the emissions from gas turbines,without bring national economic activity to a standstill, requires urgent activity on a very wide number of fronts. This isparticularly important for the UK. It has Europe's largest gas turbine industry, second only to the US, including majorengine makers, such as Rolls-Royce, Alstom and Siemens, together with approximately 3,000 companies supplyingalloys, high integrity components, such as discs, blades and shafts, as well as coatings and seals. The industry as awhole employs over 400,000 people and generates 2 billion in exports in the power sector alone.The aim of this programme is to meet this challenge by identifying and developing materials based on refractory metals,such as Mo and Co alloys, while carrying out shorter term research to extend the usefulness of Ni-based alloys. Thework will involve a coordinated programme of materials development and processing, microstructural and defectmodelling, characterisation and prediction of these high temperature materials designed to answer the fundamentalquestions that will enable their potential to be fully realised.To generate a critical mass of researchers, the programme brings together academics from 6 universities with expertise inthe necessary areas, together with Rolls-Royce plc to ensure the research is appropriate and to establish a route forexploitation.The success of the UK high-value engineering sector is an area in which improved public understanding is needed toimprove the perception of metallurgical engineering generally and to engender enthusiasm to encourage more youngpeople into science and engineering. To address this, a significant programme of public engagement has been designedto run alongside this research programme

Planned Impact

This programme addresses a national grand challenge, the reduction of emissions in energy production, by developing disruptive materials technologies for increasing the operating temperature of gas turbines. The beneficiaries will be: * UK gas turbine industry, including supply chain: By enabling the primary end-user in this programme, Rolls-Royce, to remain competitive as power generation, aero and land, becomes increasingly constrained by environmental legislation; * UK policy makers: By both informing UK government and enabling it to meet national, EU and international commitments without compromising the economic viability of UK industry; * UK population: By limiting potential damage through dangerous climate change whilst simultaneously minimising the impact on standard of living. UK aerospace and energy industry * To ensure a critical mass of researchers, this programme builds upon the established and highly successful UTP framework between Cambridge, Swansea and Birmingham and involves other institutions where specific expertise exists (Sheffield, Cranfield & Imperial College).* Maximum impact requires: 1. RR will manage the involvement of companies in the supply chain to enable the development of suitable manufacturing techniques.. 2. The application of the materials in land-based turbines, using the established relationship between RR and Alstom. * Active technical engagement with RR will build upon existing links between academic staff and RR staff. Each project in the programme will have a nominated technical specialist at RR who will attend regular technical review meetings held in the universities. Annual Gate Reviews will be held to assess development of materials and the involvement of appropriate commercial partners. Materials identified as suitable for adoption by industry at the end of the programme will have a RR technical representative assigned to champion their development and deployment. * The Programme will be managed by an Operations Board (made up of representatives from RR, EPSRC & each university). This will review developments in the individual projects & assign responsibilities within both RR & universities for uptake of technologies into industry. * A dedicated website will be run from University of Cambridge to capture and maintain new knowledge as well as enabling easy dissemination of technical information within the partnership. * A formal collaboration agreement will be put in place before the programme. * Issues associated with the manufacture and the supply chain will be addressed by the appropriate partners in collaboration with the relevant funding agencies. UK policy makers * Oversight of progress and developments on the programme, as well as coordination with other activities, will be achieved through attendance of the Governance and Operations Boards by members of the Energy Materials Working Group, EPSRC and TSB. * EPSRC & TSB will provide assistance in the delivery of the new materials into the industrial sector through the identification of suitable funding mechanisms to support their continued development beyond this programme. UK population * On-line material will be developed to give a basic understanding of the problems and applications as well as enabling those interested to follow the progress of the project. * This will be done in collaboration with the Naked Scientists , who produce science highly popular radio programmes and podcasts. It is hoped to contribute toward recruiting more undergraduates into engineering and physical sciences.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Fundamental understanding of processing-microstructure-property correlations has allowed: new alloys to be introduced; life extension of existing components to be supported; and, new joining methods to be introduced into the arduous environment of a gas turbine aero-engine.
Exploitation Route The joining techniques could find applications in other sectors of transportation and power generation industries. The new alloys also have applications to other areas such as their use in turbo-chargers for automotive transportation. Also, the lifing methodologies developed have applicability to land- based power generation.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Transport

 
Description Fundamental studies have allowed the incorporation of new alloys TiAl into the up-rated version of a new engine (2015) and to be introduced into service in the near future. They have also facilitated the use of new joining techniques for engines which are now flying (2014-2015). Finally they have allowed life extension methodologies which are expected to save many millions of pounds to the engine fleet over the next 30 years in service. In addition this Strategic Partnership allowed the University of Birmingham to bid for the RPIF HTRC project with Rolls-Royce.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Impact Types Economic

 
Description ATI
Amount £2,300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID TS/N010825/1 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2019
 
Description ATI
Amount £16,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID TS/N001222/1 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 06/2018
 
Description ATI
Amount £13,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID TS/L008831/1 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2017
 
Description EPSRC Programme Grant
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P00878/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2020
 
Description FP7
Amount £1,009,357 (GBP)
Organisation European Union 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2011 
End 06/2016
 
Description H2020
Amount £1,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Union 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2019
 
Description Research Grant
Amount £9,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M005607/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2019
 
Description Rolls-Royce Plc
Amount £1,111,400 (GBP)
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2010 
 
Description University Technology Centre with TIMET
Amount £1,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Timet UK Ltd 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 09/2017