T700 First Stage Turbine Nozzle Sand/Salt Phobic Treatment Concept Demonstration

NCMS Project #: 140824

Problem: Gas turbine engine degradation due to operations in austere environments has profound effects on civil and military aviation. One specific deterioration mode that occurs within the engine hot section is partially/molten debris accumulation on high pressure turbine airfoils. The accumulation causes not only performance degradation, but also has the potential to increase engine op line, thereby reducing overall engine stall margin and safety factors. In order to mitigate the effects of debris accumulation, airfoil treatments and coatings are conceptually an option for operational use.

T700 engines are jointly operated in all military services, powering H-60, AH-64, UH-1, and AH1 aircraft. These types of aircraft are operated in many environments. These austere operating environments degrade turbine airfoil condition and performance. The application of a sand phobic coating on T700 compressor airfoils could result in retaining engine performance and operability for longer operational periods; reducing fuel consumption and emissions, while decreasing total operational costs and increasing aircraft readiness and availability.

Benefit: When fully developed and adopted, protective gas turbine engine compressor coatings will make commercial aviation safer, more reliable, and less expensive. Providing a technical solution to nozzle glassification will enable DoD to provide ready and safe gas turbine engines to our warfighter customers at best cost to the American tax payer.

Solution/Approach: The purpose of this collaborative initiative is to develop a concept demonstration, required for surface treatment implementation on the 1st Stage Turbine Nozzle of a T700-GE-401C to assess the potential reduction of debris accumulation on the airfoil pressure side surface. This project will evaluate surface finish improvement, surface debris “wetting” reduction/repellant coating, and potentially ablative (scaling coatings) for their potential to reduce debris accumulation on turbine airfoils. Results from this effort will be used to initiate further development work for possible production solution applications to multiple DoD gas turbine engines.

Quad Chart:

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increase time on wing
  • Retain engine power
  • Increase engine life
  • Decrease amount of infield turbine washes
  • Decrease maintenance actions
  • Reduce environmental impact per each engine repair and overhaul
  • Reduce spare parts

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy-NAVAIR Patuxent River
  • Army Research Lab (ARL)

Industry Participation:

  • MDS Coating Technologies
  • General Electric Aviation
  • Ohio State University
  • NCMS


  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Improved readiness

Focus Area:

  • Coatings/corrosion prevention