ANFF, Swinburne and Amaero to advance EBCs for rocket engines

Swinburne University of Technology is partnering with Amaero International, metal additive manufacturer, and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) to develop coatings for internal turbine engine surfaces and nozzles. 

The aim is to advance Compliant Multilayer Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs) that can be used in rocket engine components. The research outputs will have commercial applications in aviation, defence, space and high-temperature processing. 

“This is an exciting project that showcases Swinburne’s strength in materials and coatings for space,” Swinburne Space Technology and Industry Institute director Professor Alan Duffy. 

“By bringing together the brightest minds and world class capabilities from Swinburne, ANFF and local industry excellence in Amaero, we can address the material issues within the extreme environment of a turbine engine. 

“In solving this problem for space, we also benefit through its use back on Earth. Swinburne is delighted that Amaero is partnering with us in this breakthrough space manufacturing technology,” he said. 

Amaero’s capacity in the project will involve: 

  • Identifying suitable 3D printed designs that allow for the construction of the EBCs 
  • Providing technical advice during manufacturing and performance testing 
  • Manufacturing and providing full scale demonstrator parts to meet the EBC requirements 
  • Providing $150,000 in funding over 48 months to support two PhD students and direct cost to work on this project, as well as $150,000 of value in kind. 

Meanwhile, Swinburne will focus on: 

  • Identifying EBC microstructures, designs and alternative materials systems to meet relevant commercial requirements and develop approaches to fabricate the identified EBCs 
  • Responding to industry expert’s feedback concerning optimisation of the microstructure for the EBC application 
  • Conducting fabrication trials which meet the relevant commercial EBC requirements. 

“We are very pleased to be collaborating with Swinburne University of Technology on researching and developing specific barriers and coatings,” Amaero CEO Barrie Finnin said. 

“The global space industry represents a significant large and strategic commercial opportunity for Amaero and this research will enhance the industry-leading technology that our company provides. 

“We look forward to working with Swinburne and the ANFF on this research and development project and benefiting from the commercial opportunities arising from the outcomes,” he said. 

The collaboration highlights the global significance of Australia’s research capability and the growing presence of Australian technology, within the aerospace and additive manufacturing sectors.

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