To improve the efficiency of gas turbine engines, comprehensive measurements of blade vibration and blade temperature are necessary during the phase of development.
Currently used instrumentation consists of bulky strain gauges and thermocouples attached to the surfaces of the blades by special bonding techniques. Here, thin film sensors directly applied to the blades by spluttering techniques offer great advantages.
Thin film sensors cause a minimum disturbance of the airflow and have negligible influence on the heat transfer from the airflow to the blades. Their low mass reduces the effect on the modes of vibration of the blades and increase the life of the sensors at high g-loads.
The objective of this project is to develop Nichrome strain gauges on titanium blades for compressor application on Ni-base blades for turbine application. For temperature measurements on Ni-base blades in turbines Platinel and platinum/platinum-rhodium thermocouples will be developed respectively.
The main steps of the project are the preparation of the substrates, the deposition of isolating, sensing and protective layers and testing of the thin film sensors under simulated and real aeroengine conditions.
The efforts will concentrate on selecting the optimum deposition process, splicing of the thin film sensors to wires, development of masking techniques to realise fine sensor structures and the transfer of these techniques to the 3-dimensional structure of aeroengine blades.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
SW1E 6AT London