Ultra-High Performance Metallic Turbine Blades for Extreme Environments

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Chicago, Illinois
Project Term:
01/06/2023 - 07/05/2024

Technology Description:

Boeing Research & Technology aims to develop a comprehensive solution for ultra-high performance turbine blades and other extreme environment aerospace applications. The team will develop a series of novel refractory complex concentrated alloys (RCCA) and their processing parameters for both laser beam powder-bed-fusion/powder-feed-deposition additive manufacturing and advanced powder metallurgy manufacturing, as well as intermediate layer materials optimized for coating solutions. This comprehensive solution will demonstrate a base alloy capability up to 1300 °C, and a coating capable of service in a turbine engine environment up to 1800 °C . The team will use advanced, high-throughput computational and experimental approaches to design and optimize the RCCAs to exploit the potential performance of such systems at significantly higher temperatures than current nickel- and cobalt- based superalloys. Traditional atomization and novel cost-effective direct chemical reduction methods will be used to produce feedstock powders, which will be further modified to improve function and manufacturability of the alloys. These innovations in materials and manufacturing technology demonstrate potential for near-term entry into service in next-generation industrial and aerospace gas turbine engines.

Potential Impact:

Combining development of new ultrahigh temperature materials with compatible coatings and manufacturing technologies has the potential to increase gas turbine efficiency up to 7%, which will significantly reduce wasted energy and carbon emissions.


Coal-fired and nuclear-powered plant electricity generation is uneconomical, unsafe, outdated, and/or contributes to significant CO2 emissions. Increasing gas turbine efficiency is critical to ensuring that plants can effectively deploy their capacity to the grid, increasing energy security.


Improving gas turbine efficiency can significantly reduce carbon emissions from air travel, which represents 2% of all global carbon emissions.


By 2050, a 7% efficiency improvement in the natural gas turbines used for U.S. electricity generation could save up to 15-16 quads of energy; in civilian aircraft turbines, 3-4 quads of energy could be saved for U.S. air travel.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Philseok Kim
Project Contact:
Dr. Ali Yousefiani
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