At the NIMS Conference 2008, NIMS will present the NIMS Award for Recent Breakthroughs in Materials Science for Energy and Environment with a medal to a person or a group who has made a remarkable breakthrough in materials science and technology in recent years. The winner of the NIMS Award will be selected by the Award Committee of the NIMS Conference from the candidates recommended by leading international scientists in materials science and technology (undisclosed) appointed by the Award Committee.
Professor Anthony G. Evans, David R. Clarke and Carlos G. Levi
University of California, Santa Barbara
Enhancement of the Fuel Efficiency of Advanced Aero and Power Turbines through Material Innovation
The fuel efficiency of turbine engines used for aero-propulsion and power-generation is largely dictated by the combustion temperature. The components having the greatest influence on this temperature are the rotating airfoils. Dramatic efficiency enhancements have been attained through schemes for internal cooling of the airfoil, coupled with the invention and implementation of novel, multilayer material concepts. The multilayers provide thermal insulation and robustness, while also protecting the underlying Ni-superalloy from environmental degradation. The multilayer is referred to as a thermal barrier system. The same system has provided sufficient operational flexibility to reduce undesirable emissions. During the last decade, Professors Evans, Clarke and Levi led an International team that generated predictive performance rules and guidelines for the development of new materials. Prior to the involvement of the UCSB-led group, implementation was empirical and progress slow. The new rules have been implemented by designers into simulation codes that enable systematic enhancements in turbine efficiency. The researchers involved in the team have been from several European countries, as well as Japan and the US. To realize rapid progress, this team has been truly multidisciplinary, with participants from materials, solid mechanics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, thermal sciences and numerical methods. The fundamental insights gained through the efforts of this team have led to the invention of new compositions of matter that combine thermal insulation with robustness within the extremely aggressive combustion environment in the turbine. These new materials promise further advances in efficiency over the next several years.
On the occasion of NIMS Conference 2008, NIMS would like to praise the recipients excellent achievements, leading to great breakthroughs in materials, as they influence energy efficiency and the environment, by bestowing the NIMS Award 2008 for Recent Breakthroughs in Materials Science and Technology.