January 2013

Mikro Systems Develops Unique Ceramic Core Casting Technology

Mikro’s sophisticated gas turbine airfoil designs allow turbines to operate at higher temperatures, thereby increasing efficiency, improving performance, and reducing emissions.

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Image courtesy of Mikro Systems, Inc.

Ceramic casting core with an intricate, fine-featured trailing edge.

R&D Opportunity

A key limitation of turbine efficiency has been the failure of parts at high temperature operating conditions, where efficiency is greatest. In FY 2010, through the SBIR program, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy funded research and development activities to explore innovative surface cooling and internal cooling approaches that allow ceramic and metal gas engine turbine parts to survive in working fluids with higher temperatures.

Solution

Mikro Systems, Inc. developed a unique ceramic core casting technology (TOMOsm) that permits the intricate design and casting of enhanced heat transfer features on gas turbine blades. The Mikro approach allows new cooling surface features to be created that would not be possible with current casting processes. Further, this alternate core casting technology will seamlessly integrate into existing multimillion dollar casting processes used by the industry and quickly revolutionize the industry’s ability to enhance both existing and future turbines with new blade designs.

Impact

Mikro’s approach is a breakthrough technology for both development and manufacture of ceramic casting cores. It enables faster and lower-cost development of advanced gas turbine blades, and the process can be scaled up for volume production. Further, the Mikro technology supports design features that would not be possible to produce with conventional core casting technology.  Production lead time can be improved by 70 percent and development costs reduced by as much as 50 percent when compared to conventional core casting manufacturing processes. A cost advantage was also demonstrated with tooling costs amounting to $50,000 – $100,000 compared to $250,000 – $300,000 for conventional tooling.

Contact

Mikro Systems, Inc.
Dr. James E. Atkinson
1180 Seminole Trail, Suite 220
Charlottesville, VA 22901-5713
atkinson@mikrosystems.com

Funding

Company Name:Mikro Systems, Incorporated
Project Title:Advanced Cooling for Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Turbine Blades
Award Type:SBIR Phase II
Year of Award:2010
DOE Office:Office of Fossil Energy
DOE Grant Number:DE-FG02-09ER85588

Related Links

Mikro Systems, Inc:  http://www.mikrosystems.com/External link

Highlight Categories

Program: FE

Last modified: 5/12/2014 1:09:25 PM