Metal additive manufacturer Amaero has entered into a research collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology and the Australian National Fabrication Facility Limited (ANFF) to develop coatings for rocket engine components.
The collaboration will focus on the development and manufacturing of Compliant Multilayer Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs) that can be applied to rocket engine components such as internal turbine engine surfaces and nozzles.
The project will see Amaero identify suitable 3D printed designs that allow for the construction of the EBCs and provide technical advice during manufacturing and performance testing.
The company will manufacture and provide of full-scale demonstrator parts to meet the EBC requirements, as well as $150,000 in funding over a 48-month period to support two PhD students and direct cost to work on this project as well as ~ $150,000 of value in kind.
Amaero CEO, Barrie Finnin, said the outputs of the research will have commercial applications in aviation, space, defence, and high-temperature processing applications.
“The global space industry represents a significant large and strategic commercial opportunity for Amaero and this research will enhance the industry-leading technology that our company provide,” Mr Finnin continued.
“We look forward to working with Swinburne and the ANFF on this research and development project and benefiting from the commercial opportunities arising from the outcomes.”
Swinburne will also contribute to the cost of the project and provide in-kind contributions, focusing on identification of EBC microstructures, designs, and alternative material systems to meet commercial relevant requirements and develop approaches to fabricate the identified EBCs.
The University will also respond to industry expert’s feedback concerning optimisation of the microstructure for the EBC application and will conduct fabrication trials that meet the commercial relevant EBC requirements.
Director of Swinburne’s Space Technology and Industry Institute, Professor Alan Duffy, The collaboration highlights the global significance of Australia’s research capability and the growing presence of Australian technology within the aerospace and additive manufacturing sectors.
“This is an exciting project that showcases Swinburne’s strength in materials and coatings for space,” Mr Duffy said.
“By bringing together the brightest minds and world class capabilities from Swinburne, ANFF, and local industry excellence in Amaero, we can address the material issues within the extreme environment of a turbine engine.
“In solving this problem for space, we also benefit through its use back on Earth. Swinburne is delighted that Amaero is partnering with us in this breakthrough space manufacturing technology.”