Turbine Compressor Blade Evaluation

NCMS Project #: 140858

Problem: Contaminants such as road dust erode turbine air compressor blades used by the commercial aviation industry, degrading engine performance and increasing fuel consumption. Maintenance of turbine blade assemblies is extremely costly. There is a strong need to improve meantime between failure and to extend time on wing.

Benefit: Coated engines would outperform uncoated engines and would burn significantly less fuel and have greater time on wing. The coating will decrease overall maintenance costs, fuel costs, reduce compressor replacements as well as spares inventory. When fully developed and adopted, protective gas turbine engine compressor coatings will make commercial aviation safer, more reliable, and less expensive.

Solution/Approach: The product chosen for evaluation is the Honeywell AGT 1500. It is a multi-fuel gas turbine engine developed for the M1 Abrams tank family, including the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams (victory). I t is fully representative of an engine required to withstand the most severe environments in the world. Project efforts will investigate the operating conditions, vibration characteristics, and component life of AGT 1500 compressor blades (specifically LPC 4) subject to erosion degradation, erosion preventive coating, and composite material substitution. The evaluation will also determine if coated blades provide an extended life for scavenge fans versus uncoated blades.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Improved readiness
  • Reduced damage and maintenance downtime
  • Increased engine performance and time on wing
  • Reduced fuel consumption
  • Improved safety and reliability

DOD Participation:


Industry Participation:

  • MDS Coating Technologies
  • Michigan State University
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Improved readiness

Focus Area:

  • Coatings/corrosion prevention