Stator Blade with Thermal Barrier Testing on Hot Gas Rig
A 1-foot long stator blade with a thermal coating subjected to intense heat in order to test its strength at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center. Lewis researchers sought to determine optimal types of ceramic coatings to increase the durability of metals. The research was primarily intended to support the design of stator blades for high-performance axial-flow compressor and turbofan engines. The coatings reduced the temperature of the metal and the amount of required cooling. As engines became more and more sophisticated, compressor blades were required to withstand higher and higher temperatures. Lewis researchers developed a dual-layer thermal-barrier coating that could be applied to turbine vanes and blades and combustion liners. This new sprayable thermal-barrier coating was evaluated for its durability, strength, fatigue, and aerodynamic penalties. This hot-gas rig fired the scorching gas at the leading edge of a test blade. The blade was cooled by an internal air flow. The blades were heated at two different velocities during the program. When using Mach 0.3 gases the entire heating and cooling cycle only lasted 30 seconds. The cycle lasted 60 minutes during tests at Mach 1.