Thermal Barrier Coatings for Turbine Engines
Innovnano, a manufacturer of high performance ceramic powder, has produced highly pure 4YSZ (4 mol% yttria stabilized zirconia), a thermal barrier coating material with exceptional properties for withstanding extreme temperature variations found in demanding operating environments. Innovnano’s 4YSZ has a major application within turbine engines, especially in the aerospace industry. Due to its low thermal conductivity only a very thin coating is necessary for impact, thereby ensuring that the component weight of the rotating turbines is kept to a minimum.
With a melting point of ~2700 C and hardness of 14 GPa, Innovnano’s 4YSZ is the ideal topcoat thermal barrier. It has been shown by CPT, an independent centre for thermal spray technology (University of Barcelona), to demonstrate the same thermal diffusivity and corrosion resistance as conventional coatings, but at a much lower thickness and weight. The company’s patented Emulsion Detonation Synthesis (EDS) process ensures that Innovnano’s 4YSZ has a fine nanostructure with uniform dispersion of mixed oxide components. These resulting powder properties are vital to ensuring that the thermal barrier is highly resistant to micro-cracking and thermal shock, allowing it to expand with the metal underneath without breaking, making it ideal for ‘no-fail’ applications.
4YSZ thermal barrier coatings not only provide thermal protection to the alloy components they cover but also shield them from oxidation, corrosion and general wear-and-tear – helping to give the turbine engine a long operating life. Innovnano’s 4YSZ ceramic powder has advanced thermal barrier coating properties in tune with technological expectations for increased turbine efficiency, allowing increased operating temperatures but with minimal maintenance down-time and cost.
“There has been a dramatic growth in the market for high performance materials within the aerospace community and other high performance settings,” said Joấo Calado, Innovnano’s Technical Director. “Recognising this, Innovnano has recently relocated to a purpose-built manufacturing facility with significantly increased production capacity, and with our advanced EDS technology we are able to provide the highest quality thermal barrier topcoat materials at the volumes that industry needs.”
In addition to dedicated zirconia-based ceramic powder production, Innovnano is also able to custom manufacture zirconia-based powder products to clients’ individual specifications. Customised, sub-micron powders are available in stable aqueous or ethanol-based suspensions for the emerging suspension plasma spray application, as well as spray-dried granules, with or without binder for optimum handling.