At any one time over half a million people are flying far above our heads in modern aircraft. Their lives depend on the performance of the special metals used inside jet engines, where temperatures can reach over 2000˚C. Cambridge researchers will be exhibiting these remarkable materials at this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
The Periodic Table may not sound like a list of ingredients but, for a group of materials scientists, it’s the starting point for designing the perfect chemical make-up of tomorrow’s jet engines.
A new, highly-accurate temperature sensor could save manufacturers millions in maintenance costs, lower fuel consumption, and prolong the lifespan of jet engines, nuclear reactors and other types of large gas turbine engines.
Only a single class of engineering materials can withstand the extreme conditions deep within a jet aeroplane engine – the nickel-base superalloys.