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Novel materials for high temperature structural applications

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The working conditions inside an aircraft jet engine are harsh and complex, and present some of the biggest engineering challenges. In a modern jet engine alone temperatures can vary from -50°C to 2000°C on components spinning with more than 10,000 revolutions per minute. The rear part of the engine is the hotter region and is referred to as the turbine section. The fuel efficiency of the jet engine is directly proportional to the temperature at which the turbine section operates – higher the temperature in the turbine, higher is the engine efficiency. Over the last 50 years, Ni-based superalloys have been able to withstand these extreme temperatures and through continual development have enabled significant increases in the turbine entry temperature. However, the scope for further development with these Ni-base superalloys is becoming increasingly limited. Coupled with this, the drive for an even more energy efficient engine has led to the worldwide search for a successor to the superalloys. In this presentation, the characteristics of a new class of Cr-based alloys, which have been considered as one of the potential alternative to the superalloys in next generation jet engines, has been discussed and its scope explored.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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