HTRC signs new partnership agreement for EPSRC Programme Grant

The High Temperature Research Centre at the University of Birmingham has recently signed a new partnership agreement for an EPSRC Programme Grant. This grant is for: Transportation Cooling Systems for Jet Engine Turbines and Hypersonic Flight. The new agreement brings together a consortium of collaborators from the HTRC, the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and Southampton University.

The EPSRC Programme Grant will deliver a step change in the understanding and predictability of next generation cooling systems to enable the UK to establish a global lead in jet engine and hypersonic vehicle cooling technology. The HTRC and its collaborators aim to make transpiration cooling, recognised as the ultimate convective cooling system, a reality in UK-produced jet engines and European hypersonic vehicles.

Currently, the highest temperatures achievable for both jet engines and hypersonic flight are limited by the materials and cooling technology used. The cooling benefits of transpiration flows are well established, but the application of the technology to aerospace in the UK has been prevented by the lack of suitable porous materials and the challenge of accurately modelling both the aerothermal and mechanical stress fields. The Consortium’s approach will therefore enable the coupling between the flow, thermal and stress fields to be researched simultaneously in an interdisciplinary approach which we believe is essential to arrive at the best transpiration systems. The Programme Grant allows world leaders in their respective fields to collaborate and solve the combination of cross-disciplinary problems that arise from the application of transpiration cooling, leading to rapid innovations in this technology.

Having access to this new Programme Grant also allows innovation in the cast components arising from combining casting expertise with aerothermal and stress modelling in recent EPSRC funded research programmes. It will allow the Team to build upon material development of ultra-high temperature ceramic and carbon composites undertaken in EPSRC research, and will provide the first opportunity to undertake direct coupling of the flow with materials at true flight conditions and material temperatures.