Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Timothy C. Radsick, PhD.


Sand ingestion into military aircraft turbine engines from desert environments have tested the performance and life of the engine. In particular, turbine section blades and nozzles are coated with a molten glass when the sand is heated to melting temperatures. This molten glass attacks protective coatings on the surface of these parts. Further research is needed to understand the sands behavior on thermal barrier coatings (TBC) when heated to melting temperatures. Also, further research is needed with manufactured sand used in current engine testing to understand the sand ingestion discrepancies between test engines and operational engines. In this study natural sands from Yuma, Arizona, and Afghanistan will be heated to melting temperatures side-by-side with the manufactured sands specifically created for engine testing. All sands will be heated on EB-PVD TBC buttons provided by two companies who produce TBC coated turbine blades for current military engines. The results of manufactured sand should theoretically behave like natural sand and CMAS melted on a thermal barrier coating in order to substantiate past, current, and future testing. Additionally, the two EB-PVD TBCs behavior with the molten and cooled sand will be compared in this study.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number