US invests $16m to develop ultra-high temperature materials for gas turbine use

Projects will also develop new manufacturing processes that ensure turbine blades can withstand the extreme operating environments commonly found in natural gas turbines in both the aviation and power generation sectors

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $16 million (£12m) of investment for the development of ultra-high temperature materials for gas turbine use in the aviation and power generation industries.

A total of 17 projects will share the funding under the first phase of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) ULTIMATE programme.

The projects will address two target temperature levels and seek to develop materials for continuous operation at 1300ºC (2372ºF) in a stand-alone material test environment or at 1800ºC (3272ºF) with coatings and cooling.

In addition, the teams will develop new manufacturing processes that ensure turbine blades can also withstand the extreme operating environments commonly found in natural gas turbines in both the aviation and power generation sectors.

ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski said: “Natural gas turbines generate more than a third of the country’s electricity, supplying power to consumers across America.

“ULTIMATE teams will improve the efficiency of the generation sector by developing materials that increase producers’ efficiency and create positive economic benefits for industrial and public consumers nationwide.”

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