Mr Karthikeyan (Karthik) Ramachandran

Research project: Next Generation Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) for Turbine Efficiency

Abstract

During past few decades there has been significant increase in turbine entry temperature (TET) in order to improve gas turbine ability and efficiency. But with current materials, the increase in temperature represents a huge challenge to turbine blades. Ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) offer low density, high hardness and superior thermal and chemical resistance makes the CMCs attractive enough to be investigated for the potential application on gas turbine hot section components to replace conventional super alloys. The CMCs would benefit in increasing the overall efficiency because of higher TET, less coolant mass flow and lower weight and also helps in reducing NOx emissions. However, CMCs have a major disadvantage due to its poor hydrothermal resistance in high temperature combustion environments. Hence, Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coatings (TEBC) for CMCs will play an increasingly important role in future gas turbine engines because of their ability to effectively protect the engine components and further raise engine temperatures.

Therefore, the main aim of this study is to develop a novel coating system for the protection of CMCs from extreme environments to enable revolutionary gains in turbine engine efficiency. The newly developed T/EBC systems will be developed and tested for turbine blade applications. The main tasks of this study are:

  • To develop a multilayer design approach for the CMCs.
  • To evaluate the properties such as matrix crack stress, ultimate tensile strength, interlaminar strength, thermal conductivity, thermochemical stability, temperature capability and thermochemical protection for the coated CMCs.
  • Finally, to carry out the resulting performance and durability in simulated engine high heat-flux, high stress and high pressure combustion environments.

Biography

I commenced my research career by undertaking B.E. (Dist.) in Mechanical Engineering from Sathyabama University, India followed by MSc (Dist.) in Mechanical Engineering from Kingston University. My interest in materials began with my Bachelor's degree which allowed me to join PhD research. My PhD research focuses on environmental barrier coatings for turbines to enhance their efficiency which I am hoping to complete by December 2022.

In addition to my PhD research, I am also currently working on various projects associated with material science.  My current projects including the repairability of ceramic matrix composites, additive manufacturing of ceramic composites, nanocomposites for barrier coatings and structural applications, fluid-structure interaction, and plasma-based micro-propulsion systems for small-scale satellites.

I'm a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). I also hold various other membership positions from different engineering societies including the Institute of Corrosion and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RES).

I have significant industrial experience with extensive industrial exposure via internships, summer placements, and official placements with various reputed organizations in India. Currently, I am working as an R&D design engineer with NEEP consultancy, India along with teaching experience from Kingston University as a graduate teaching assistant. In addition, I have been assisting B.Eng. and M.Eng. graduates with research and placements.

Areas of research interest

  • Composite Materials
  • Environmental/Thermal Barrier Coatings
  • Nanomaterials
  • UTHCs
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Sustainable Composites
  • Finite Element Analysis

Qualifications

  • MSc.(Dist.) in Mechanical Engineering, Kingston University, London.
  • B.E.(Dist.) in Mechanical Engineering, Sathyabama University, Chennai, India.
  • Associate Fellowship (AFHEA) from Advance HE.
  • Chartered Engineer (CEng) with Institute of Mechanical Engineers (CEng IMechE)

Funding or awards received

  • Best Postgraduate Project Award in Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kingston University.
  • Research Degree Studentship.
  • PGR Achievement Award March 2021.
  • 2nd Place Dissemination Award at SEC Conference, Kingston University 2021.
  • PGR Achievement Award March 2022.
  • 1st Place in Poster Presentation at ECE Conference, Kingston University 2022.

Publications

  • T Arunkumar, R Karthikeyan, RR Subramani, K Viswanathan, and M Anish, "Synthesis and characterization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)", (2020), International Journal of Ambient Energy 41(4) pp. 452-456.
  • T Arunkumar, R Karthikeyan, RR Subramani, M Anish, J Theerthagiri, R Boddula and J Madhavan, "Effect of MWCNTs on improvement of Fracture Toughness of Spark plasma sintered SiC Nano-composites", (2021), Current Analytical Chemistry, 17(6), pp. 849-856.
  • T Arunkumar, G Anand, R Subbiah, R Karthikeyan and J Jeevahan "Effect of MWCNT's on improvement of fracture toughness of spark plasma sintered YSZ nano-composites", (2021), Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, 30, pp.3925-3933.
  • K Ramachandran, Z Carmine, K Yoshida, T Tsunoura and DD Jayaseelan, "Experimental investigation and mathematical modelling of water vapour corrosion of Ti3SiC2 and Ti2AlC ceramics and their mechanical behaviour", 2021, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 41(9) pp.4761-4773.
  • T Arunkumar, V Pavanan, VA Murugesan, V Mohanavel and K Ramachandran, "Influence of nanoparticles reinforcements on aluminium 6061 alloys fabricated via novel ultrasonic aided rheo-squeeze casting method", Metals and Materials International, vol. 28 issue 1, pp.145-154, 2022.
  • T Arunkumar, T Selvakumaran, R Subbiah, K Ramachandran and S Manickam, "Development of high-performance aluminium 6061/SiC nanocomposites by ultrasonic aided rheo-squeeze casting method", Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, vol. 76, 105631, 2021.
  • K Ramachandran, RR Subramani, T Arunkumar and V Boopalan, "Mechanical and thermal properties of spark plasma sintered alumina-MWCNTs nanocomposites prepared via improvised colloidal route", Materials Chemistry and Physics, vol. 272, 125034, 2021.
  • K Ramachandran, S Leelavinodhan, C Antao, A Copti, C Mauricio, YL Jyothi and DD Jayaseelan, "Analysis of failure mechanisms of oxide – oxide ceramic matrix composites", Journal of the European Ceramic Society, vol. 42 issue 4, pp. 1626-1634, 2022.
  • K Ramachandran, V Boopalan, J Bear and RR Subramani, "Multi-walled carbonnanotubes (MWCNTs)-reinforced ceramic nanocomposites for aerospace applications: a review", Journal of Material Science, pp. 1 – 31, 2021.
  • K Ramachandran, B Chaffey, Z Carmine, YC Jayakody, JC Bear and DD Jayaseelan, "Experimental and mathematical modelling of corrosion behaviour of CMAS coated oxide/oxide CMCs", Ceramics International, (Accepted 2022).
  • YC Jayakody, K Ramachandran and DD Jayaseelan, "Fabrication and characterisation of ZrSi2 ceramics via reactive hot-pressing" Advances in Applied Ceramics, (Accepted October 2022).
  • K Ramachandran, YC Jayakody and DD Jayaseelan, "Oxidation behaviour and its effect on fracture toughness of Niobium metal" International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials (Accepted October 2022).
  • CL Gnanasagaran, K Ramachandran, R Singh, S Ubenthiran and NH Jamadon, "Effect of co-doping manganese oxide and titania on sintering behaviour and mechanical properties of alumina", Ceramics International (Accepted 2022).
  • C Zuccarini, K Ramachandran, S Russo, YC Jayakody and DD Jayaseelan, "Mathematical modelling and simulation of porosity effects on thermo-mechanical properties of UHTCs under hypersonic flow conditions", International Journal of Ceramic Engineering and Science (Accepted October 2022). 

Conference papers

Conference/Talks

  • Plenary Lecture: DD Jayaseelan, C Zuccarini, K Ramachandran, Y Jayakody and S Russo, "Development of UHTCs for hypersonic applications", at an international conference on "Advanced Thermal structural Materials and Thermal protection systems, (ADTHERM'20)".
  • K Ramachandran and R Padmanabhan, "Experimental Investigations on Effect of Soapnut biodiesel on diesel Engine" at NCETIME 2017.
  • K Ramachandran, C Zuccarini, K Yoshida, T Tsunoura and DD Jayaseelan, "Experimental Investigation and Mathematical Modelling of Water Vapour Corrosion of Ti3SiC2 and Ti2AlC Ceramics" SEC Conference 2021, Kingston University London.
  • C Zuccarini, K Ramachandran, DD Jayaseelan and YCJ Mudiyanselage, "Stress distribution analysis in zirconium diboride and silica carbide (ZrB2- SiC) based thermal protection system under hypersonic flight conditions using a machine learning driven approach", "Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics: Materials For Extreme Environment Applications V", Daniel Butts, MACH-20, LLC, USA; Carmen Carney, Air Force Research Laboratory, USA; Carolina Tallon, Virginia Tech, USA; Gregory Thompson, University of Alabama, USA; Chris Weinberger, Colorado State University, USA Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2022).
  • K Ramachandran, B Chaffey, YC Jayakody, Z Carmine, JC Bear and DD Jayaseelan, "Corrosion behaviour of CMAS coated oxide-oxide ceramic matrix composites", ECE Conference 2022, Kingston University London.
  • YC Jayakody, K Ramachandran, and DD Jayaseelan, "Fabrication of ZrSi2 as nuclear cladding material", ECE Conference 2022, Kingston University London.

Poster Presentations

  • K Ramachandran, C Zuccarini, K Yoshida, T Tsunoura and DD Jayaseelan, "Experimental investigation and mathematical modelling of water vapour corrosion of Ti3SiC2 and Ti2AlC ceramics", SEC Conference, Kingston University, 2021.
  • K Ramachandran, Z Carmine, JC Bear and DD Jayaseelan, "Corrosion behaviour of CMAS coated Oxide-Oxide Ceramic Matrix Composites", ECE Conference, Kingston University, 2022. (Winner)
  • YC Jayakody, K Ramachandran, and DD Jayaseelan, "Fabrication of ZrSi2 as nuclear cladding material", ECE Conference 2022, Kingston University London 2022.