TCAT, aerospace engineering receive funding for helicopter rotor blade erosion research

November 18, 2009
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Researchers in the TEES Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT) and the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University have received a third year of funding to continue work on military helicopter rotor blade erosion technology.

Blade erosion in military helicopters continues to be an area of concern, particularly in severe environments of sand and rain. The current approach to assuring safe performance relies upon frequent inspection, repair and replacement of protection films without robust and reliable procedures. The consequence is high cost. New erosion-resistant coatings are being developed but there are no physics-based models available to guide their development.

A research program is under way at Texas A&M to systematically address the erosion problem. This program, now in its third year, is focused on polyurethane films that are mounted on the leading edge of blades to provide protection from erosion caused by sand particles.

Principle investigators for the program are TCAT's Dr. John Ayala and Dr. Ramesh Talreja, Dr. Amine Benzerga, Dr. Zoubeida Ounaies and Dr. Tamas Kalmar-Nagy with Texas A&M's aerospace engineering department.

TEES (Texas Engineering Experiment Station) is the engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System.

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