Mr Karthikeyan Ramachandran

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


During past few decades there has been significant increase in turbine entry temperature (TET) in order to improve gas turbine ability and efficiency, which represents a huge challenge to turbine blades. Ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) offer low density, high hardness and superior thermal and chemical resistance, hence the CMCs attract enough attention to be investigated for the potential application on gas turbine hot section components to replace conventional super alloys. The main benefit of CMCs could offer is to increase overall efficiency because of higher TET, less coolant mass flow and lower weight as well as reducing NOx emissions. However, a major disadvantage of CMCs is 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:

(i)       To develop a multilayer design approach for the CMCs.

(ii)      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.

(iii)    Finally, to carry out the resulting performance and durability in simulated engine high heat-flux, high stress and high pressure combustion environments.


I commenced my research career by undertaking a Bachelors degree (Hons.) in the field of Mechanical Engineering in the year 2014 followed by a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Kingston University. I have gained a particular interest towards the Materials through my work in nano-composites as my bachelors project. Henceforth, the interest has gained an acceleration in my life when I worked with composites for railways in my maters thesis.

This interest has allowed me to join my goal on researching towards the materials related to my field which made me choose a PhD on environmental barrier coatings for turbine engine efficiency. Learning about the materials and working on new projects will allow me to extend my knowledge and provide me excitement.  

Areas of research interest

  • Composite Materials
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Environmental/Thermal Barrier Coatings
  • UTHCs
  • Nanomaterials


  • MSc in Mechanical Engineering, Kingston University, London
  • B.E in Mechanical Engineering, Sathyabama University, Chennai, India

Funding or awards received

  • Best Postgraduate Project Award in Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kingston University
  • Research Degree Studentship for year of 2020-2021 provided by Faculty of Science, Engineering & Computing


T. Arunkumar, R. Karthikeyan, R. Ram Subramani, K. Viswanathan & M. Anish(2018): Synthesis and Characterisation of Multi Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT), InternationalJournal of Ambient Energy, DOI: 10.1080/01430750.2018.1472657

T. Arunkumar *, R. Karthikeyan , R. Ram Subramani , M. Anish, J. Theerthagiri, Rajender Boddula and J. Madhavan, "Effect of MWCNTs on Improvement of Fracture Toughness of Spark Plasma Sintered SiC Nano-Composites", Current Analytical Chemistry (2020) 16: 1. 

Conference papers

Karthikeyan, R., Padmanabhan., "Experimental Investigations on Effect of SoapnutBiodiesel on Diesel Engine" at NCETIME 2017.