Professors working in this area include:
Professor Richard Chromik
Professor Mihriban Pekguleryuz
Professor Stephen Yue
Aerospace materials are at the cutting edge of materials research since they are used at the extremes of temperature and endurance, yet must be as light as possible. These exotic materials also benefit from novel manufacturing processes. In our department, Professors Pekguleryuz and Yue are developing these materials and processes:
- Ignition-Resistant Magnesium Alloys Professor Mihriban Pekguleryuz: Magnesium is successfully used in spacecraft structures and in the external components of aircrafts. However, the use of Mg has been restricted inside the aircraft cabin by the FAA due to potential ignition hazards. The ignition behaviour of Mg alloys is, however, quite different from pure Mg itself, where alloying can significantly slow down oxidation kinetics and increase the ignition temperature. The objective of our research is the use of rare earth and alkaline earth additions to Mg to develop ignition proof magnesium alloys for aircraft use.
- Cold Spray Professor Stephen Yue: Cold spray is a method to consolidate and "sinter" metal powders at temperatures well below the melting point by impacting powders at a high velocity onto a substrate. This novel method of processing can lead to enormous savings in materials costs as well as generating novel microstructures with novel and improved materials properties. Aerospace is particularly interested in this processing route.
- Pulsed Electron Beam Physical Vapour Deposition Professor Stephen Yue: Physical Vapour Deposition is a way to produce ceramic coatings on metallic substrates for jet engine applications, protecting turbine blades from heat and erosion. Pulsing the electron beam allows for an infinite variation in chemical composition of these coatings, enabling optimization of properties.
- Aerospace Coatings Professor Richard Chromik: Aerospace systems routinely make use of coatings for a wide range of applications – thermal management, wear and corrosion resistance, and even for their abradable properties to keep tolerances in gas turbine engines. Prof. Richard Chromik studies two main classes of coatings for aerospace applications. Hard coatings are studied for their wear resistance and can be found in bearings or the leading edge of turbine blades for erosions protection. Solid lubricant coatings are studied for their importance in satellite systems and potential self lubricating properties to reduce oil consumption.