NPL and Sensor Coating Systems collaborate on luminescence-based thermal sensing

The funding was provided through the Government's modern industrial strategy by Innovate UK.

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IMAGE: Sensor Coating Systems is collaborating with NPL to advance thermal sensing coatings using luminescence technology. (Image credit: Sensor Coating Systems)

Sensor Coating System (SCS; Dagenham East, England) has been awarded an Innovate UK grant under the A4I (Analysis for Innovators) program to collaborate with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The funding was provided through the Government's modern industrial strategy by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. The aim is the development of a new standard light source to enhance thermal measurements based on temperature memory materials. This will be beneficial to enable improved measurements on gas turbine parts for power generation, jet engines or for automotive parts. Consequently, this will improve cost efficiency and lower emissions.

The Thermal History Technology is a unique luminescence-based sensing technology which enables engineers to record past temperatures on inaccessible components. The temperature measurement capability reaches from around 150 °C to 1400 °C. This makes the technology very useful for the evaluation and design of mission-critical components in harsh environments such as a gas turbine or internal combustion engines.

The materials used in the Thermal History Technology have innate luminescence which permanently changes due to thermal exposure, allowing the temperature to be measured by non-destructive excitation and detection of the luminescence light. The measurement device can be scanned across the surface to produce an accurate thermal profile of the surface. The materials are deposited using techniques pioneered for the most challenging applications and can survive for a long duration under high thermal and mechanical loads, offering both short- and long-term measurement of thermal characteristics.

This short-term project runs under the A4I scheme of Innovate UK. This allows small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to link up with large UK research institutes such as the National Physical Laboratories to collaboratively work on measurement challenges.

The project will address a measurement challenge identified by SCS during the development of its thermal history technology. The combined resources of SCS and NPL will allow to develop a standard Thermal History Technology aimed at reducing uncertainty and improve repeatability. The advances will enable the technology to be used globally with improved results.

The technology delivers valuable temperature data inside machinery where other technologies can't be applied. Areas of application for this technology for temperature measurement include automotive and aerospace industry as well as power generation and industrial processes. SCS pioneers sensor technology based on luminescence materials for engineering applications in demanding environments. Its award-winning technology (British Engineering Excellence Award, Royal Society of Chemistry, American Society of Mechanical Engineers) enables accurate temperature detection, corrosion and erosion monitoring and lifetime predictions and, in doing so, assists in optimizing the operation of machinery, lowering fuel costs and maintaining material integrity.

SOURCE: Sensor Coating Systems;

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