Project Objectives

AEROPZT will address the challenge of developing more capable piezoelectric ceramics, protective encapsulation systems and actuator designs, targeting fluid flow control challenges (e.g. lean-burn combustion fuel staging). In this application the aim is to maintain precise control of flow between pilot-mains fuel streams to enable combustion processes that reduce NOx emissions. Additional active control elements include management of lean-combustion thermoacoustic instability and lean-blow out. It is expected that the technologies developed within this project will have a wide range of device applications, such as direct clearance control actuation, air flow manipulation for boundary layer control and sensor devices.

The specific objectives of the AEROPZT project are:

  1. Development and manufacture of piezo-electric materials capable of operating over the temperature range -40°C to 180°C, whilst maintaining sufficient margin from the Curie temperature to prevent depolarisation in use.
  2. Development of an encapsulation methodology and processing methods to enable the piezo elements to operate reliably in a fuel-wetted environment.
  3. Design of a piezo element stack which is capable of delivering the force and stroke required for a typical fuel staging valve.
  4. Design of the complete actuator assembly for the fuel staging valve assembly.
  5. Determination of cyclic life requirements for the fuel staging application and demonstration that this performance can be delivered by the piezo stack and complete actuator assembly.
  6. Accelerated environmental testing to determine possible failure modes.
  7. To gain knowledge of the degradation processes both on a macro level (in terms of the performance as a valve element) and any changes in the material micro-structure as a result of the degradation processes.