Research database

AEROPZT - Development of materials, processes, and means to enable the application of Piezoelectric materials in aero engine controls

24 months (2014 - 2016)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
UE-funded research - JTI - Clean Sky
Funding body:
Project identification number:


The ACARE targets for civil aircraft include NOx and CO2 emissions reductions of 80% and 50% respectively by 2020. Although airframes make a significant contribution, most of the balance (especially NOx) will be contributed by the engines. These contributions are expected to be achieved by lean burn, increased propulsive efficiency and increments in cycle efficiency via reduced component losses. Augmenting performance can be achieved by introducing new active controls to reduce off-design component efficiency loss, improve surge margin and lean blow out margin. Unfortunately, current implementations are limited by the characteristics of existing electromechanical and hydraulic actuation devices (i.e. frequency response and cyclic life) and the high temperature, pressure and possibly liquid wetted operating conditions. Piezoelectric ceramics can overcome some of these limitations and offer the potential to make highly reliable actuation devices partially because the strain is developed without wear or friction. AEROPZT will address the challenge of developing piezoelectric ceramics, encapsulation and actuator designs primarily for staged combustion fuel staging in the context of the SAGE6 project. In this application the aim is to enable pilot-main fuel staging without significant un-commanded thrust transients and reductions in surge margin (so called bumpless transfer). Another important application in the field of combustion is the control of thermoacoustic instability and lean blow out. It is expected that the materials and technologies developed will have a wide range of other applications for active control within the engine such as active surge control, boundary layer control and active clearance control.

People involved



Total cost: € 739,467.15
Total contribution: € 739,467.15
PoliTo total cost: € 105,719.40
PoliTo contribution: € 105,719.40