Damage to jet engines by airborne particulates; Detection and mitigation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Chemistry


The project will build on our previous experimental investigations into the deposition mechanisms of volcanic ash in the hot turbine section of modern jet engines, extending the remit to cover more common airborne aerosols, such as pollutants and mineral dust particles, particularly those prevalent in arid climates. At best, long term exposure to these aerosol materials cause expensive damage to jet engines, but at high enough dosage they can cause blockage and engine surge (blow out) or even melting of turbine parts. Our studies involving volcanic ash have already shown how the size (typically from 1 to 100 micrometres in particle diameter) and composition is critical not only to the way these particles melt and stick to turbine surfaces, but also to their ease of removal when an engine cools after stalling. This study aims to design a miniature 'in flight' jet engine simulator to identify sudden increases in dosage of ingested particulates, simulating the effect this will have on the actual jet engine at the prevalent flight conditions before disaster strikes. Lab development will be followed by drone borne testing of sensor designs in various high-density particulate clouds including volcanic eruptions, industrial high emission localities and dust storms.

Please note- Student is in year 1. Will update when student starts project in year 2 (summer 2020).


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023593/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2269545 Studentship EP/S023593/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Madeleine Reader