Developing an application for refractory open cell metal foams in jet engines

Wassim E. Azzi, William L. Roberts, Afsaneh Rabiei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The thermodynamic efficiency of the Brayton cycle, upon which all gas turbines (aeropropulsion and power generation) are based on scales with the peak operating temperature. However, the peak temperature is limited by the turbine blades and the temperature they can withstand. The highest temperatures in the gas turbine occur in the combustor region but these temperatures are often too high for turbine blades. As a result, the combustion products must be diluted with relatively cooler air from the compressor to reduce the temperature to tolerable levels for the turbine blades. This research suggests placing a ring of high temperature open cell metal foam between the combustors and turbine sections of the jet engine to mix and average the difference in temperatures resulting from the cooling schemes in combustor cans. Temperature mixing effect was tested using a special setup with the application of an infrared camera and streams of hot and cold air passing through the foam. High speed flow pressure drop around Mach 1 (340 m/s) was done on the same foam samples to understand pressure drop in the compressible regime of air. Infrared imaging showed that open cell metal foams successfully mixed and averaged the difference in temperatures of the hot and cold gasses thus creating a more uniform temperature profile while pressure drop testing revealed that open cell metal foams result in minimal pressure drop at high flows especially when the increase in temperature in taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberNN11.3
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2004 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 29 2004Dec 3 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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