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Coating for extremes  

By Gerald Ondrey |

A coating that can protect turbine-engine and waste-incinerator components against heat and oxidation has been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT; Pfinztal, Germany; www.ict.fraunhofer.de). The coating consists of an outer topcoat made from hollow, aluminum-oxide spheres. The spheres contain gas, so when the outer side is exposed to high (1,000°C) temperatures, the spheres reduce the temperature on the inner side to below 600°C. The coating process is said to be an adaptation of conventional coating processes used to prevent the oxidation of metal components. The new coating retains this oxidation protection, with the additional benefit of thermal insulation, says ICT. The researchers have also refined the coating process to produce layers of the desired thickness.
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