Developments in the UK Engineering Ceramics Programmes
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The complementary DTI-supported Advanced Ceramics for Turbines (ACT) and Ceramic Applications in Reciprocating Engines (CARE) programmes share a common origin and maintain close liaison in areas of common interest.
Description of the fundamental limitations of metal turbine blades leads on to the identification of silicon nitride and carbide as potential successors. The key areas of technology necessary to develop ceramic blades are identified as stressing/design methodology, increasing temperature capability and defect tolerance, more fundamental lifing philosophies and improved manufacturing processes. Developments in these areas under ACT and demonstration of ceramic turbine blades, turbine shroud rings and air bearings in a Rolls-Royce gas turbine are reported.
Work under the CARE programme is divided into four sections, namely materials substitution, thermal insulation, turbochargers and materials development. Potential improvements are described for reducing wear rates and in high temperature lubrication; also for reducing particulate emissions and cooling system volume by combustion chamber insulation, for decreasing the inertia of turbocharger rotors and valve gear by using the lighter ceramic materials and for reducing manufacturing costs by development of improved processing.
KeywordsDiesel Engine Silicon Nitride Weibull Modulus Ceramic Component Nickel Superalloy
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