Proud Moment! NASA shows interest in ‘Made in India’ tech for spacecrafts

Proud Moment! NASA shows interest in ‘Made in India’ tech for spacecrafts
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A new thermal spray coating technology used for gas turbine engine in spacecrafts developed by a Rajasthan-based researcher has caught the attention of a NASA scientist, an official said. Expressing his interest in the research, James L Smialek, a scientist from NASA wrote to Dr Satish Tailor after it was published in the journal Ceramics International and Thermal Spray Bulletin, said SC Modi, the chairman of a Jodhpur-based Metallizing Equipment Company (MEC).

While working at MEC as a chief scientist, Research and Development, (R&D), Dr Tailor developed the controlled segmented Yttria Stabilised Zirconia (YSZ)-Plasma sprayed coating technology, which according to him could reduce the thermal spray coating cost by almost 50 per cent. “In simple language, vertical cracks (segmentation) in the coating are beneficial for gas turbine engine application used in spacecrafts,” Dr Tailor said.

“At present, researchers are developing such cracks through very expensive processes (in several crore) and cracks are generated during the coating deposition process, and crack generation is not controllable,” he told PTI. He said he has shared his research papers with the NASA scientist who had written him an email regarding this.

Scientists working at the country’s leading research organisations – the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO)- are equally impressed with the new technology. Dr RM Mohanty, the chief scientist at the CSIR headquarters in New Delhi, said that indeed the outcome of the reported R&D presents an inexpensive solution for superior survival of current YSZ thermal barrier coatings produced by atmospheric plasma sprayed (APS) technique, and has a potential of wider industrial/strategic acceptability.

Mohanty said this novel APS linked process has an advantage over current, costly techniques such as SPS or EB- PVD deposited coatings which came into picture gradually, as the reported advantage in the research was not possible with convectional APS techniques. He said the innovators should patent the process/equipment or both internationally for bringing benefits to the APS based business.

Another scientist at the DRDO, Dr RK Satpathy said the generation of vertical cracks holds great promise, if the research process can be industrially adopted in making a strain tolerant coating then it will definitely be more economical compared to its expensive counterparts techniques. Dr Tailor is the deputy editor-in-chief of the Journal of Materials Science and Surface Engineering, and chief editor of the Journal of Thermal Spray and Engineering.

He is associated with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Russia as a visiting young scientist. Hailing from Jaipur, Dr Tailor completed his PhD in metallurgical engineering with specialisation in plasma spray coatings from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur. He has published over 25 national and international research papers in reputed journals on thermal spray technology.

PTI