MTS develops new materials for advanced aircraft jet engines


MTS Systems is working on the development and demonstration of new, advanced materials testing technologies, as part of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) signed with the US Air Force (USAF).

The company is carrying out the research activity in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

MTS and AFRL are testing the mechanical properties of materials to be used in advanced aircraft jet engines.

MTS said that it is using its comprehensive materials test technology to develop future military and commercial aircraft, and ensuring the optimal performance of critical substances in the most challenging environments.

MTS president and CEO Dr Jeffrey Graves said: “For decades, MTS has been working closely with AFRL and its predecessor organisations to help advance aerospace system technologies for national defence applications. We’ve provided AFRL with the test hardware and software that their research teams need to push the boundaries of aerospace engineering.

"AFRL is able to conduct the research required to allow jet engines and other aircraft systems to run under more extreme operating conditions, dramatically increasing fuel efficiency and overall system performance."

“This latest project is one that we are very proud to be participating in, as it has applications that will benefit the entire US aerospace and defence industry. Through the use of our industry-leading test expertise and proven technology leadership, the AFRL is able to conduct the research required to allow jet engines and other aircraft systems to run under more extreme operating conditions, dramatically increasing fuel efficiency and overall system performance.”

Jet engine materials such as ceramic matrix composites, high-temperature metals, and carbon-fibre composites are exposed to temperatures up to 1,500°C and high-stress conditions.

Since fuel-efficiency and performance increase with engine temperatures, new materials that can tolerate these temperatures must be tested before they are used in the engines, MTS stated.

The testing of these materials will ensure safety, reliability and improved performance, according to the statement.