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Space Shuttle technology transferred to power generation industry

Back to Pre-1998 Articles Adhesive technology demonstration centre Aged samples lend added credence to safety codes Arc welding Demonstration Centre shows best practice in action Boiler takes the heat in comfort Conductive adhesive for ultrasound catheter cracking-risk-in-steel-pipelines-from-external-hard-zones Engineering critical assessment of pipeline welds Far East fitness-for-purpose check First UK Research Council contract for TWI Friction stir welding of titanium Help with adhesives training Joining demonstration centres in industry Joining Forces success in Belfast Joints take 10 seconds in the microwave LIVEMAN - Advanced joining processes for lightweight vehicle manufacture Making calculations easier 'Mildly sour' environment project saves half a million pounds New standard for weld fracture toughness testing Novel method joins plastic pipes Plastics fume - new findings released Project saves time and money for Amerada Hess Small firms seize no-cost reviews and low-cost trials South East Asia ACFM course Space Shuttle technology transferred to power generation industry Spot the evidence Structural integrity assured for Liverpool Bay Supporting technology on the Indian sub-continent Technology demonstrators show best practice in action Thermomechanical material processing by friction [friction pillar processing] 'Tubestress' measures residual stresses in parts that other equipment cannot reach TWI enhances on-stream inspection service Underwater welding work expands at TWI North Wider recognition for welding inspectors

Connect, no.81, November-December 1996


Advanced materials are the focus of COST (Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology research) a European collaboration concerned with power engineering components.

TWI are actively involved in a programme dealing with thermal barrier coatings for combustion chamber liners in gas turbines. The objective is to increase operational temperature inside a combustion chamber by improving the thermal insulation leading to an increase in operating efficiency. This will result in better power consumption and reduction in environmental pollution.

High temperature bonding and coating methods have been developed in the Advanced Materials Processing Department at TWI based on inorganic adhesives and sintered ceramic coatings designed to join a new fibrous insulation tile layer to the wall of the combustion chamber. This thermal barrier system is similar to the technology used on the outer skin of the space shuttle for atmosphere re-entry. However, in the case of gas turbine technology, the tiles must withstand extended high temperature operation and mechanical exertion over years rather than minutes.

To date, the coated fibrous insulation has survived all forms of testing. The next stage is testing the bonded section where the insulation tiles are attached to the combustor substrate.

Please contact Wendy Hanson (e-mail: ) for further details of this programme.

For more information please email: