The joint research centre of the Technical University Darmstadt (TUD) and Rolls-Royce is named “Combustor and Turbine Aerothermal Interaction” (CTI) and primarily deals with the aerodynamic and thermal interaction between combustion chamber and turbine in aircraft engines. The goal of this cooperation is the development of new technologies for reducing the fuel consumption as well as a reduction of pollutant emissions. The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) was founded in 2006 and has since achieved valuable results in the field of environmental sustainability of aircraft engines. In this manner, the UTC serves one of the primary objectives of the aviation industry which pursues strict environmental goals throughout the industry sector until 2020, according to the research alliance ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe).
The challenging aim to reduce nitrogen oxides by 90% and CO_2 by 75% is only possible by means of fundamental redesigning of the combustion process. In doing so, technical changes of the combustion chamber necessarily need to be taken into account when designing the turbine because turbine entrance temperatures already exceed the melting temperatures of the applied materials. Highly developed cooling mechanisms ensure turbine operation at these temperature levels and allow for high efficiencies as well as low CO2 emissions in modern aircraft engines.
The research centre at the TU Darmstadt is moving within this development environment while investigating new combustion technologies and their modelling approaches, as well as the respective impact on the turbine.