Perspectives: End Point

Prevent Heat and Oxidation Damage

A new coating technique could protect process equipment from extreme conditions

By Seán Ottewell, Editor at Large

Researchers have developed a coating technique they plan to use to protect chemical reactors, turbine engines and waste incinerator components against heat and oxidation. The researchers, based at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT), Pfinztal, Germany, have designed a coating that consists of an outer topcoat made of conjoined, micro-sized, hollow aluminum oxide spheres filled with gas. In lab tests, the heat insulation offered by a gas-phase insulation layer just a few micrometers thick has already proven superior to conventional coating techniques, they say. “These spheres are hollow and filled with gas,” notes coatings expert Vladislav Kolarik from ICT’s Energetic Systems department. “When the outer side of a part is exposed to temperatures of 1,000°C, these gas-filled spheres reduce temperatures on the part’s inner side to under 600°C.”

Read more

More from this perspective...

Title

Are Chief Execs Paid Too Much?

Engineer applies economic entropy to analyze CEO's salaries.

11/17/2009

Groups Work to Counter the Counterfeiters

Companies pitch in to foil fake pharmaceuticals.

10/13/2009

REACH Expands Its Range

Study shows cost of animal testing will significantly increase.

09/09/2009

Interest in Molecular Sieve Films Grows

Chemical engineers overcome membrane boundary defect hurdle.

08/11/2009

Process Flare-up Leads to Blacklist Fear

Dispute over refinery project may make investors wary.

07/08/2009

Robots Work on Reactor Removal

Decommissioning proves just as daunting as constructing nuclear facilities.

06/11/2009

Views on Alternative Fuels Differ

Are biofuels a boon or a black hole for chemical engineering?

05/12/2009

Disposable Equipment: Single-Minded Quest Continues

Disposable equipment gains a growing role in bioprocessing.

05/06/2009

Post-Graduate Studies Get A Boost

Germany puts bio- and chemical engineering at heart of future prosperity.

04/17/2009

Atmospheric Simulations Modeling Improves

But can the cooling effects of human-generated aerosols be curbed?

03/17/2009

Tiny Particles Spark Big Debate

New report focuses on social and ethical issues of nanotechnology

02/18/2009

Industry Fosters Environmental Progress

A variety of efforts aim to significantly improve plant performance.

02/05/2009

Did Persians Succeed With Chemical Weapons?

Archaeologists unearth roots of chemical warfare in Roman times.

01/19/2009

Operators Get More Help

Efforts aim to provide insights and tools to boost performance.

12/26/2008

Regulation Isn’t Smart Enough

Debate reveals chemical engineers desire for more innovation.

11/25/2008

Are Secondary Particles the Culprits of Poor Air Quality?

Studies point to the need to reassess air pollution.

10/17/2008

Engineers Give Silver a Healthier Future

Modern technology enhances the metal’s age-old role in fighting infection

10/10/2008

Industry goes for the gold

Olympics showcase some of chemical engineering’s best efforts

08/27/2008

Just How do Bacteria Communicate?

Chemical engineer develops way to short-circuit biofilm formation

08/06/2008

End Point: Can process engineers tame volcanoes?

Macro-scale chemical engineering seeks to contain lava flow

06/26/2008