Showcase highlights some unique technologies that NASA has developed
and which we believe have strong potential for commercial application.
While the descriptions provided here are brief, they should provide
enough information to communicate the potential applications of
the technology. For more detailed information, contact the person
listed. Please mention that you read about it in Innovation.
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is seeking companies to license
and develop graded coatings for commercial applications.
Marshall has developed a novel method of manufacturing and coating
high-performance engine components to withstand violent combustion
environments in which intense temperature and pressure could damage
parts. The method relies on vacuum plasma spray (VPS) and other
thermal spray techniques to produce parts for applications in which
several materials are combined to meet demanding fabrication and
The technology can be used to form and coat parts that are associated
with aerospace, automotive and commercial engines. Aerospace applications
include forming or coating rocket engine combustion chambers and
nozzles, as well as turbine vanes and combustors. The application
can be utilized by the automotive industry for coating pistons,
cylinder heads, valves and exhaust manifolds in diesel and high-performance
engines. Potential commercial engine uses include industrial gas
turbines, incinerators, furnaces and heat exchangers.
The technology promises to extend the life of high-performance
parts. The method lowers operating temperatures; enhances resistance
to thermal corrosion, oxidation and abrasion; and increases strength
lubricity, bonding and/or ductility.
NASA uses the technique to combine two materials that together
provide the desired properties for a rocket engine combustion chamber—good
thermal conductance and resistance to thermal corrosion and oxidation.
In this application, a protective nickel alloy coating protects
a copper alloy combustion chamber lining. As a result of using the
new method, NASA has been able to avoid previous problems with the
coating blistering and separating under intense heat loads.
The method is being used at NASA to make small and large developmental
engine parts. To date, NASA has formed coatings from Ni-, Cu-, ferrous-
and ceramic-based material. Parts made using the method have been
exposed to temperatures in excess of 3,500 to 5,000 °F and to
pressures ranging from 500 to 3,000 psi. Depending on material selection,
the resulting wall temperatures range from 1,000 to 1,700 °F.
For more information, contact Sammy Nabors at 256/544-5226,
Please mention you read about it in Innovation.