Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Future Jet Engines May Be Plastic, Researchers Say

Date:
March 12, 1998
Source:
University Of Missouri, Rolla
Summary:
The jet engine of the future could be made of materials that are more like plastics than steel, if studies at the University of Missouri-Rolla find that these new materials can hold up under extreme changes in temperatures and other conditions.

ROLLA, Mo. -- The jet engine of the future could be made of materials that are more like plastics than steel, if studies at the University of Missouri-Rolla find that these new materials can hold up under extreme changes in temperatures and other conditions.

Related Articles


In the aerospace industry, the quest continues for the ideal material -- one that is "light as a feather but stiff as a board" -- for building aircraft, says Dr. Samit Roy, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at UMR and a senior investigator at UMR's Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center. In recent years, the military has used strong, lightweight carbon-reinforced composite materials for aircraft fuselages, wings and other parts, Roy says.

"They boost performance because they're a lot lighter but stiffer than steel," he adds. They also do not reflect radar well, making these materials indispensable for use in aircraft that rely on stealth technology, such as the F-117 fighter and the B-2 bomber.

Now, the government is looking at whether those same materials can be used as components for the jet engines that power those aircraft. Through a $448,671 grant from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Roy will help determine how well such materials hold up under adverse conditions.

Roy and Dr. Lokesh Dharani, associate dean of UMR's School of Engineering and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, will test fiber-reinforced composite materials under various conditions. They will then use the data from these short-term laboratory tests and run mathematical models to predict how the materials might hold up over a 15-year period.

The research, which began last July and will continue through October 1999, is being conducted through NASA's Advanced Subsonic Technology (AST) Program. UMR is one of three universities involved in the research with Pratt & Whitney. The others are Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

Pratt & Whitney is the leading designer, developer and manufacturer of gas turbine engines for commercial, military and general aviation aircraft.

The researchers will test panels of the composite materials in UMR's Graduate Center for Materials Research, where Dharani is a senior investigator. They will subject the materials to various temperatures and other environmental conditions, simulating circumstances a military aircraft might find itself in on a regular basis. An aircraft might be parked on a tarmac in sweltering heat and humidity one minute, and taking off for the cold and dry conditions of high altitudes the next, Roy says.

The researchers also will test the composite materials for aging. When polymer materials age, Roy says, they tend to become brittle.

Polymer-based composite materials are similar to plastic. "To use polymer technology in an engine is groundbreaking," Roy says. He adds that the advances in polymer science make it realistic to test these materials for possible use as components in "the most hostile environment of all," the jet engine.

"Polymer technology has been advancing rapidly," Roy says, "and there are polymers that can sustain very high temperatures over short periods of time.

"What we don't know yet," he adds, "is how those materials perform over longer periods of time. That's what our research will address."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri, Rolla. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri, Rolla. "Future Jet Engines May Be Plastic, Researchers Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980312080111.htm>.
University Of Missouri, Rolla. (1998, March 12). Future Jet Engines May Be Plastic, Researchers Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980312080111.htm
University Of Missouri, Rolla. "Future Jet Engines May Be Plastic, Researchers Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980312080111.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cablevision Enters Wi-Fi Phone Fray

Cablevision Enters Wi-Fi Phone Fray

Reuters - Business Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) The entry by Cablevision and Google could intensify the already heated price wars for mobile phone service. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hector the Robot Mimics a Giant Stick Insect

Hector the Robot Mimics a Giant Stick Insect

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) A robot based on a stick insect can navigate difficult terrain autonomously and adapt to its surroundings. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Pilot Uses Full-Plane Parachute in Crash

Raw: Pilot Uses Full-Plane Parachute in Crash

AP (Jan. 26, 2015) A pilot en route to Hawaii crashed his single-engine plane into the Pacific Ocean Monday and escaped safely thanks to the use of a full-plane parachute. US Coast Guard video captures the dramatic landing. (Jan. 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins