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Challenges to Ensure Dependability of Hot Section Turbine Components of Modern Jet Engines

November 22, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Nedderman Hall 106 | Seminar Flyer

Seminar Speaker

Randall Kelton, Ph.D.

Pratt & Whitney


Pratt & Whitney is committed to building an unrivaled customer experience by understanding expectations, making commitments we can fulfill, and allocating resources such that we deliver what we promise, which is as always, dependable engines.  While the maintenance of a robust aftermarket organization, supported by Dallas Repair Operations (DARO) here in Arlington TX, can save customers up to 10x versus replacement of hot section parts, development of robust processes is still the tip of the spear in delivering on customer expectations.  The demand for higher efficiency requires ever higher turbine inlet temperatures.  While the current state of the art allows for turbine operation above the melting temperature of most super alloys, environmental factors cause dependability to vary wildly from customer to customer.  This presentation will discuss the degradation of ceramic Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC)s by sand, and potential materials solutions needed for homogenizing and enhancing engine dependability across the customer base.


Randall Kelton has been in the aerospace industry for just over a decade. Over this time, Dr. Kelton began his aerospace career with Vought aircraft filling a variety of engineering roles, from building and maintaining large airframe assembly fixtures to implementing manufacturing and quality automation projects.  Dr. Kelton’s six years in supplier management for Sikorsky aircraft lead to his interest in materials science for which he obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2019.  He currently works for Pratt & Whitney’s Dallas Airfoil Operations (DARO) in Arlington TX.