The Brillance of Ingenuity

CFDRC wins Air Force contract for integrated software tool to predict material degradation in high performance coatings

Huntsville, Ala | March 21, 2016 - In this new Air Force award, a $760k / 2 year effort, CFDRC will deliver a multiscale material modeling toolkit to predict damage leading to delamination of multilayered coating systems when subjected to harsh service environments. The response of the material system to damaging stress is modeled beginning at the length scale of the microstructure using peridynamics to predict fracture nucleation and progression.

The project will validate the accuracy of the modeling toolkit to predict damage progression against a burner rig analysis of a characterized coating system. The validated model will be demonstrated on a repaired coating system to assess its applicability to challenging service applications.

In prior work for the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), CFDRC demonstrated feasibility of a physics-based model to compute damage progression under stress from the microscale to macroscale. The team demonstrated the use of CFD to determine conditions at the surface of a part, and identified a way to link surface conditions from CFD simulations to the damage state of the material based on the stress state.

 Simulations of representative volume elements of thermal barrier coatings are used to predict damage and coating delamination under various environmental conditions. Fine scaled simulations that include microstructure details (left image) are used to determine properties of the interface regions in simulations of the multilayered coating systems (right image).

The Air Force faces challenges related to selecting, maintaining and repairing coatings that protect and enhance the performance of critical components in gas turbine engines. Those coatings must maintain performance despite experiencing several degrading mechanical, thermal and chemical impacts.

About CFD Research Corporation: Since its inception in 1987, CFDRC has worked with government agencies, businesses and academia to provide innovative solutions within the Aerospace & Defense, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Energy & Materials industries. Over the years CFDRC has earned multiple national awards for successful application and commercialization of innovative component/system technology prototypes, multi-physics simulation software and multi-disciplinary analyses. Learn more at

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