National Centre for Combustion and Aerothermal Technology

Capabilities and Expertise

As the boundaries between research, design and development become increasingly blurred, NCCAT will support activities over a range of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL 1-6) through the alignment of early research activities with future commercial goals.  This will promote multi-disciplinary and integrated design methodologies, ensuring the fast pull through of new technologies.

Loughborough University is renowned for partnering organisations to boost productivity, and NCCAT is no exception, providing the ideal environment for knowledge exchange, innovation and mutually beneficial collaborations.  With almost 100 years combined experience the existing research team can offer partners seamless access to a wide breadth of expertise. This includes:

  • Fundamental fluid mechanics (e.g. diffusing flows, boundary layer separation, wake mixing, secondary flows, the effects of swirl, curvature and pressure gradients, aeroacoustics and two-phase flows).
  • Fluid mechanics of gas turbines (e.g. low emission combustor architectures, the compressor/combustor interface, integrated outlet guide vane design, advanced pre-diffuser development, fuel injector and two-phase flows (sprays), cooling technologies and heat transfer, aero acoustics, combustion instabilities, the combustor/turbine interface, installation and transition duct aerodynamics).
  • Design and operation of advanced, state-of-the-art test rigs and associated infrastructure.
  • Development of advanced, high-fidelity instrumentation and imaging techniques.
  • Development and use of advanced computational fluid dynamics and high-performance computing (including RANS, LES and DNS, isothermal, multi-phase (sprays) and reacting flow simulations, particle tracking, acoustically forced flows).  NCCAT partners will also be able to negotiate access to HPC Midlands Plus, a tier-2 high-performance computing centre housed at Loughborough University.

NCCAT will support a range of low/mid TRL activities crucial to the development of future gas turbine combustion systems.  The development includes:

  • A new 850m2 purpose-built laboratory incorporating 8 new test cells.
  • Specialist plant and equipment which provides the infrastructure to support single-phase and two-phase, non-reacting and reacting flow experiments over a range of conditions:
    • Sub-atmospheric (240K, 0.3BarA, 0.8kg/s),
    • Atmospheric (288K, 14kPa, 4kg/s),
    • Elevated pressures and temperatures (up to 900K, 11Bara at various flow rates).
  • Access to a range of instrumentation of various levels of fidelity:
    • Standard aerothermal measurement techniques (e.g. miniature five-hole probes, hot-wire anemometry and scalar gas tracing),
    • Advanced state-of-the-art laser diagnostics (e.g. particle image velocimetry, planar laser induced fluorescence, emission reabsorption laser induced fluorescence, particle doppler anemometry, pressure sensitive paint, thermographic liquid crystals),
    • Techniques for rapid evaluation of fuel injector characteristics (e.g. effective area, flow number, cone angle, patternation),
    • State-of-the-art gas sampling/analysis systems and reacting flow diagnostic techniques.
  • A 100m2 state-of-the-art workshop to service the test cells, including a range of manufacturing equipment (CNC milling machine, CNC lathe, manual milling machines and lathes, a welding booth).

We welcome enquiries from prospective clients about NCCAT's capabilities, please get in touch.