This paper describes research carried out in the European Commission co-funded project E-BREAK (Engine BREAK through components and subsystems) focused on development of generic enabling technologies for new aero-engines.
A global market forecast (2015–2034) from Airbus , depicts an average growth rate of 4.6% per year. Air traffic is forecasted to double in the next 15 years. It is expected, to triple in the next 20 years, according to the speech given by RRUK CEO during the Aerodays 2015 in London . This high level of growth in demand for air travel represents huge opportunities as well as significant challenges for the aerospace industry. Research and Technology through collaborative European projects addresses the environmental penalties of air traffic. Europe’s aviation industry therefore faces a huge challenge to satisfy the demand whilst guaranteeing competitiveness, safety and more environmentally friendly air travel. Innovative engine configurations consequently need to be investigated in order to reduce significantly the pollutant emissions (15 to 20% for fuel consumption and CO2 and 80% reduction for NOx). Such reductions can only be achieved by considering innovative components that could be integrated and optimized in new engine configurations.
In response to the above demands, aero-engine manufacturers are constantly aiming to improve gas turbine efficiency for two main reasons: to reduce environmental impact and to minimize operating costs.
The E-BREAK project is aimed at the development of generic enabling technologies needed to address the challenges for future engines with higher overall pressure ratios (OPR) and bypass ratio (BPR). These technologies are developed at subsystem and component level and validated in test rigs which are equivalent to Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 5. The utility of the developed technologies are assessed using four standard study powerplants. These are turboshaft, regional turbofan, mid-size open rotor, and large turbofan, covering most of the expected future commercial aero-engine market.
This article describes the technical approach followed in E-BREAK for the various technologies being investigated, these are:
• Advanced sealing to reduce oil and air leakages
• Variability control to ensure stability of thermodynamic cycle
• High temperature resistant material and abradables to prevent fast degradation at high temperatures
• Light material to prevent significant mass increase
• Health monitoring system to anticipate sub-systems degradation
The envisaged outcomes from E-BREAK are enablers to other EU-funded research projects focused on module maturation progress, such as LEMCOTEC dealing with high OPR modules and ENOVAL dealing with high BPR LP components.Copyright © 2016 by ASME