Sunday, July 14, 2013

IISc makes jet engines quieter

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore have helped Rolls-Royce develop low-noise technology for aircraft engines that are fitted in long-haul airplanes like Boeing 747s and Dreamliners.

An 11-member team led by U Ramamurthy of the department of materials engineering began research in 2006 in collaboration with the UK company and recently delivered the technology. This technology, developed using shape memory alloys, brings down engine noise during landing and take-off. Noise levels of aircraft have triggered protests in many cities and residents near airports have forced adoption of rules such as ban on nighttime landings.

"Rolls-Royce was involved in a tripartite research agreement with research groups in IISc and IIT-Bombay as well as Imperial College, London. The objective was to discover high-temperature shape memory alloy compositions with a new technique which could be adapted for engines," Ramamurthy said.

The professor and his student Vyasa Shastri explained that a chamber in the engine is fitted with silencer vanes. "When the plane takes off or lands, the silencers become operational. This reduces engine noise," Ramamurthy said. The vanes were capable of operating at temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius and higher.

"It's been a great collaboration, developing a method to screen a large number of alloys. This has applications beyond the current material that could develop into actuators for more aircraft, into a general tool for developing alloys. It's been very high-profile within Rolls-Royce, and very exciting for the group," said David Dye of the department of materials, Imperial College, London.

Source: The Times of India (Online Edition), July 14, 2013

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