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Rolls-Royce UTC

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Our research covers all aspects of the metallurgy of the alloys that are used in aerospace gas-turbine engines.  In this application, alloys are required to operate under extreme conditions often involving a combination of high stress, high temperature and an oxidising atmosphere; the precise operating conditions vary depending on location in the engine.  

Our principal aims are to develop an improved understanding of existing materials and to design new alloys.  Both aims seek to provide the materials knowledge and technologies required for new engines with improved performance.  Engine manufacturers would like to run their engines hotter to deliver higher efficiencies, but this is limited by the operating temperatures of the current materials.  Thus, much of our work is concerned with improving the high-temperature properties of alloys.  However, progress can also be made by using lighter or stronger alloys, reducing weight throughout the engine. 

Balancing the exacting requirements of the engine necessitates a diverse range of research interests, and our group is simultaneously investigating a range of phenomena (strength, structure, fatigue resistance, oxidation) in a number of different alloy systems.  At present, the key areas of focus are: nickel-based superalloys, titanium alloys, intermetallics and high entropy alloys.  More information can be found on the pages linked to the left-hand side of this text.