Sunday, April 28, 2019

IIT Madras to tweak repair technology to help planes fly longer

Cold spray technology is expected to be hot property in the aviation industry for fixing damages in aircraft engines and gas turbines without distorting or oxidizing the base material. To bring the technology to the Indian market, IIT Madras (IITM) in collaboration with the Centre and General Electric (GE) has set up the equipment in its lab to research on its application to increase life expectancy of an aircraft and make flying safer.
The equipment, set up in a Cold Spray Smart (Surface Modification and Additive Research Technologies) Laboratory, is the first-of-its-kind in an academic institution in the country, say experts. Professor M Kamaraj of metallurgical and materials engineering department at IIT-M said students will study the coating process and improve it to increase the life expectancy of the components. “Students will also learn about methodology, material and testing, which will help them find jobs in aviation and other related sectors,” the professor said.
The equipment can spray powdered metal particles in high pressure and low temperatures at supersonic speeds to fix damages in the aircraft. Though the technique is at least three decades old, it has recently piqued the interest of the civil aviation industry after the US military began using it. “It can spray hard metals like nickel-based alloys at a maximum speed of 1,200m per second and soft metals like aluminium as low as 300m per second. The higher the pressure, the higher the velocity of spray and better the powdered particles bond with the base material,” said engineers at the laboratory, which was also funded by the government of India.
28/04/19 U Tejomayam/Times of India