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The function of a fireplace is to heat the surrounding room. The hotter the flames burn, the hotter the room, but to ensure that the room itself doesn’t catch fire or the bricks don’t decay, the fireplace is built with special heat resistant bricks that can withstand blazing temperatures. Similarly an aircraft engine burns fuel more efficiently if it is able to retain a high temperature. To make sure this temperature doesn’t corrode the surface of the engine, the surface is coated with a heat resistant substance. Such a substance that will provide three times the protection of any other has been invented.
The nano particle coating was invented by researchers at Sweden’s University West. The coating consists of ceramic and plastic particles. The ceramic industry’s priorities have always included heat resistance so its natural that this coating uses ceramics as a major component. The plastic particles have primarily been used to create minute pores with in the material that will introduce elasticity in to the material. This is of the utmost importance because the material should be able to expand and contract without breaking at high temperatures.
The fine powdered coating cannot be directly sprayed on to the engine surface due to its high surface area. To keep it from scattering, it is dissolved in a liquid and then sprayed on to the aircraft engine surface. This allows individual particles to be arranged as 0.5 mm thick small towers across the surface. This has an advantage over the “stacked layers” structure of conventional coatings, it can adhere better to irregular surfaces.
When subjected to thermal shock tests, the coating lasted 3 times as long as other coatings and since it’s much cheaper and simpler to produce, its a viable and marketable product. The estimates are that the life of the average aircraft engine will be increased 300% by this coating.