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The Future of Thermal Barrier Coatings

When it comes to turbine’s efficiency, the hotter they can operate the most energy efficient they are. However, operation temperature of turbine blades is limited  by the material it is made of, typically nickel based alloys. To increase operation temperatures, a thermal barrier coating is applied on the surface of the metal, deflecting heat and enabling higher operation temperatures. A team from MSE and CHE, led by Prof. Castro and Prof. Stroeve, have proposed a new concept of highly stable and spherical ceramic microspheres that can act as an active radiation reflecting coating using photonic oncepts. The microspheres are highly stable, being able to withstands temperatures above 1100 °C without deforming, and can interact with thermal radiation as  both have similar length scales. The work is published in the [J. Am. Ceram. Soc. DOI: 10.1111/jace.14971 (2017)]