Jet engines get hot, really hot. Hotter than any metals can stand, that’s why ceramic coatings are now used to protect the hot end components. The coatings are deposited and sprayed, and as in any coating method, there’s a lot of “overspray”. That is actually an opportunity because the advanced coatings being used by the likes of GE, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney contain hard to get rare earth metals.
Enter startup Xylon Technical Ceramics (XTC), based in the IncubatorWorks in Alfred NY, who have developed a new process to recover these coating material wastes – and turn them back into fresh coating materials. For the existing technologies using rare earth zirconates they just got their first substantial commercial order together with their production partner TAM Ceramics Inc. in Niagara Falls NY.
Now they have developed a process to recover rare earth silicates for the next generation coatings developed by NASA and others ensuring a ready supply for years to come. This was a real team effort supported by Defense Logistics Agency, IncubatorWorks, The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology at Alfred University, TAM Ceramics LLC and the Center for Materials Informatics at the University at Buffalo.
We know how to handle hot stuff!