Swinburne University of Technology and Amaero International Limited have partnered with the Australian National Fabrication Facility Limited (ANFF) on a project to develop EBC coatings for internal turbine engine surfaces and nozzles.
The project’s aim is to advance Compliant Multilayer Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs) that can be applied to rocket engine components. The outputs of the research will have commercial applications in aviation, space, defense, and high-temperature processing applications.
“This is an exciting project that showcases Swinburne’s strength in materials and coatings for space,” said Director of Swinburne’s Space Technology and Industry Institute, Professor Alan Duffy. “By bringing together the brightest minds and world-class capabilities from Swinburne, ANFF, and local industry excellence in Amaero, we can address the material issues within the extreme environment of a turbine engine.
“In solving this problem for space, we also benefit through its use back on Earth. Swinburne is delighted that Amaero is partnering with us in this breakthrough space manufacturing technology,” Professor Duffy Added.
Through the research collaboration, Amaero will identify suitable 3D printed designs that allow for the construction of the EBCs and provide technical advice during manufacturing and performance testing. The company will then proceed to manufacture and provide full-scale demonstrator parts to meet the EBC requirements. Amaero will also provide $150,000 (ex-GST) in funding over a 48-month period to support two Ph.D. students and direct cost to work on this project as well as $150,000 of value in kind.
Swinburne will also contribute to the cost of the project and provide in-kind contributions, focusing on identifying EBC microstructures, designs, and alternative material systems to meet commercial relevant requirements and develop approaches to fabricate the identified EBCs. The university team will then respond to industry expert’s feedback concerning optimization of the microstructure for the EBC application and conduct fabrication trials that meet the commercially relevant EBC requirements.
“We are very pleased to be collaborating with Swinburne University of Technology on researching and developing specific barriers and coatings,” Amaero CEO, Barrie Finnin, said. “The global space industry represents a significantly large and strategic commercial opportunity for Amaero and this research will enhance the industry-leading technology that our company provides. We look forward to working with Swinburne and the ANFF on this research and development project and benefiting from the commercial opportunities arising from the outcomes.”
The collaboration highlights the global significance of Australia’s research capability and the growing presence of Australian technology within the aerospace and additive manufacturing sectors.