The service life of aircraft engines can be greatly increased, by up to 300%, through the use of a nanoparticle coating, according to new research from University West in Sweden.
This nanoparticle coating also allows the temperature within the engine to be raised, which would increase fuel efficiency — resulting in decreased fuel use, and reduced emissions. The new technology is also considerably cheaper than current conventional ones.
The aircraft industry has expressed great interest in the technology — and is currently pushing to get it to the production stage within only two years.
That’s fast. Though, to be fair, it is easy to see why the technology is of such great interest — especially when you consider the potentially huge cost-savings.
Commenting on the basis of the technology, researcher Nicholas Curry states: “The base is a ceramic powder, but we have also tested adding plastic to generate pores that make the material more elastic.”
“We have tested the use of a layer that is formed from nanoparticles. The particles are so fine that we aren’t able to spray the powder directly onto a surface. Instead, we first mix the powder with a liquid that is then sprayed. This is called suspension plasma spray application.”
There are still some questions that need to be answered before the technology can move forward, though. Such as: What happens to the material’s structure over time? How exactly does the microstructure in the layer work?
Despite these lingering questions, though, the researchers are highly optimistic. Be on the lookout for updates — we’ll keep you posted. 🙂
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