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Abradable materials for coating critical surfaces

Abradable coating solutions improve safety while reducing fuel consumption and emissions in turbomachinery. Whether aviation or power generation gas turbines, steam turbines or turbochargers, we have abradable materials for your clearance control applications.

Abradable materials for coating critical surfaces

Abradable(s) refers to a material or coating that is designed to wear away or be worn down gradually by contact with another surface, typically in a machine or mechanical system. The purpose of an abradable material is to reduce friction and minimize damage to both surfaces.

Abradable materials are often used in rotating machinery such as gas turbines or jet engines, where they are applied as coatings or inserts in the casing or shroud surrounding the turbine blades. When the blades rotate at high speeds, they come into contact with the casing, and the abradable material wears away slowly, creating a small clearance between the blade tips and the casing. This clearance reduces the amount of rubbing and friction between the blade and casing, which in turn helps to reduce wear, vibration, and noise, and can increase efficiency and performance.

Pioneering abradable coatings

Oerlikon Metco pioneered thermal sprayed gas turbine abradable coatings for the low pressure compressor more than a half century ago. Today, we design and produce abradable coatings for engine manufacturers and for applications such as gas turbine engines and other critical applications such as turbomachinery, turbochargers and steam turbines.

Our composite abradable thermal spray powders are of the highest quality and consistency for long-lasting service. We also have a unique ability to test the abradable coatings we design using our in-house testing rig that closely simulates engine test conditions. Thus, we can prove rub results under varying conditions which helps qualify abradable solutions more rapidly and with higher confidence.

Abradable coating solutions for aircraft gas turbine engines

Our abradable solutions significantly improve efficiency and operational safety of aircraft propulsion engines. These products log millions of flight hours each and every year on civil and military turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft engines.

Typical Applications
  • Rotor path linings
  • Low-, intermediate-, and high-pressure compressor seals
  • High-pressure turbine seals
  • Bearing air seals
  • Oil seals
  • Other labyrinth seal configurations
Operational Benefits
  • Reduces Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC)
  • Increases compressor stall margins
  • Lowers engine Exhaust Gas Temperatures (EGT), extending the engine on-wing time

Read more about the aerospace industry here.

Abradable coating solutions for power generation and mechanical drive gas turbines

Typical Applications

Our abradable materials are applied as clearance control coatings to industrial gas turbine compressors, improving compressor efficiency up to 5%. On the first stages of the turbine section, our ceramic abradable materials are applied to shroud seal segments to reduce overall clearances, thereby improving stage efficiency up to 2%.

Operational Benefits
  • Improves power output
  • Lowers fuel consumption
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Significantly reduces annual operating costs of large power generation turbines

Abradable coating solutions for steam turbines

Typical Applications
  • Shaft seals
  • Balance piston seals
  • Steam flow path seals over shrouded rotor blades for Supercritical (SC) and Ultra Supercritical (USC) steam applications
Operational Benefits
  • Improves turbine efficiency
  • Reduces carbon dioxide emissions
  • Saves fuel
  • Reduces environmental costs


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