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.”

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