Mainstream Engineering Awarded Contract from U.S. Air Force to Develop Film Cooling Strategy for Gas Turbine Engines
To increase the power and reduce the weight of gas turbine engines, designers are increasing the fuel equivalence ratio and shortening the combustor length. Both of these factors lead to increased unburned fuel being released into the downstream components. When these combustible species contact the cooling air surrounding the turbine blade film, they undergo localized secondary combustion near the blade’s surface. This combustion, which results in increased temperatures, heat fluxes, and thermal stresses in the blades, significantly impacts thermal fatigue and decreases turbine durability. Mainstream will perform transient shock tube experiments with mixtures of high fuel concentrations and film cooling air to measure the performance of various film cooling strategies under actual gas turbine pressure and temperature conditions.
While many employers in Brevard County are discussing reductions in force, Mainstream has increased its staff by 14% in the last year alone. This new Air Force contract will allow Mainstream to create additional engineering and production positions. According to Dr. Robert Scaringe, President of Mainstream, “Given the state of the economy and the anticipated job losses at Kennedy Space Center, we are excited about the possibility of being able to employ displaced aerospace workers from the local community.
“This new Air Force contract award is one small step in a series of ongoing job-creating programs that we are developing at both Mainstream and our automotive spin-off company to create local jobs, improve the nation’s energy efficiency, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, all while reducing emissions and preserving the environment. Our products have always been proudly ‘Made in the USA’,” stated Dr. Robert P. Scaringe, President of Mainstream.
About Mainstream Engineering Corporation
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a solutions-oriented research, development, and manufacturing small business founded in 1986. With advanced, lean-manufacturing, cost-competitive products, our primary mission is to transition advanced thermal control, energy storage, and energy conversion technology into high-quality, cost-effective, environmentally safe green, commercial products. Products include lightweight diesel/JP8-fueled engines (including generators and hybrid vehicle drive trains), advanced thermal control units, advanced biomass conversion technologies, refrigerators/freezers for shipping containers, and the QwikProductTM line of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) products. Areas of advanced research include thermal control, energy conversion, engine and emissions research, turbomachinery, chemical technology, and materials science.