Reducing temperature uncertainty in thermal memory coatings for advanced gas turbine applications

Sensor Coating Systems Limited
University of Nottingham

Accurately measuring extreme temperatures for better engineering

Measuring incredibly high component temperatures poses unique challenges for engineers and manufacturers, especially at the high degrees of accuracy and component coverage required when investigating aircraft turbines and power stations.

Gaining accurate insight into the maximum temperatures reached by components is crucial to achieve higher efficiencies in gas turbines that are needed to support the Net Zero objectives by 2050. It gives engineers greater understanding of how long these components will last, how often they need to be replaced or even whether different materials should be used. This maximum temperature can be measured utilising a truly unique technology: Thermal History Coatings (THCs), made from rare-earth doped ceramics. This coating phosphoresces when illuminated similar to ‘glow stars’ in a child’s bedroom.

Joseph’s project aims to build off of existing use of Thermal History Coatings, to provide a more accurate model for assessing maximum temperatures up to and beyond 1,600⁰C to within 10 ⁰C. THCs are applied to materials which are then subjected to high temperatures, and then the maximum temperature experienced by this coating can be retrieved from luminescence response once cooled. The THC is a temperature memory material in this sense. THCs also provide accurate mapping of where high temperatures are reached on the target components, giving greater insight into areas of concern where temperatures reach the significant extremes. Joseph is also investigating how modern manufacturing techniques of applying coatings, known as plasma spraying techniques, can impact the accuracy of THC data.

Joseph graduated from Imperial College London with a Master’s Degree in Chemistry in 2020, whilst also actively participating and administering several university societies. Joseph has worked at Sensor Coating Systems since 2021 as a Materials Engineer working on multiple internal R&D and industrial customer projects, focussing on thermal history technology and ceramic coatings.


“Accurately recording the extreme heat conditions that materials are subjected to is crucial to designing efficient and safe components for many industries. The research being done with Sensor Coating Systems will provide data, and confidence in that data, for engineers working in areas such as transport, energy and manufacturing.”