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Thermal Barrier Coatings for Turbine Engines

INNOVNANO, a subsidiary of CUF,  the largest chemical companies in Portugal, is a specialist manufacturer of industrial-scale quantities of high-quality nanostructured zirconia-based powders and aluminium zinc oxide sputter coating targets.

With a new, purpose-built production centre, built on a modular design, INNOVNANO can scale-up production to 1000 t/a to meet the rapidly growing demands of industries taking advantage of high-performance materials. INNOVNANO has produced highly pure 4YSZ (4 mol-% yttria stabilised zirconia), a thermal barrier coating material with very good properties for withstanding extreme temperature variations found in demanding operating environments. The new developed 4YSZ has a major application within turbine engines, especially in the aerospace industry. Due to its low thermal conductivity only a very thin coating is necessary for impact, thereby ensuring that the component weight of the rotating turbines is kept to a minimum. With a melting point of ~2700 °C and hardness of 14 GPa, the newly developed 4YSZ demonstrates the same thermal diffusivity and corrosion resistance as conventional coatings, but at a much lower thickness and weight. The company’s patented Emulsion Detonation Synthesis (EDS) process ensures that INNOVNANO’s 4YSZ has a fine nanostructure with uniform dispersion of mixed oxide components.  4YSZ thermal barrier coatings not only provide thermal protection to the alloy components they cover but also shield them from oxidation, corrosion, and general wear-and-tear – helping to give the turbine engine a long operating life. INNOVNANO’s 4YSZ ceramic powder has advanced thermal barrier coating properties in tune with technological expectations for increased turbine efficiency, allowing increased operating temperatures but with minimal maintenance down-time and cost. In addition to dedicated zirconia-based ceramic powder production, the company is also able to custom manufacture zirconia-based powder products to clients’ individual specifications. Customised, sub-micron powders are available in stable aqueous or ethanol-based suspensions for the emerging suspension plasma spray application, as well as spray-dried granules, with or without binder for optimum handling.

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