Metal Three Dimensional (3D) Printing of Low-Nitrous Oxide (NOX) Fuel Injectors with Integrated Temperature Sensors


Test Article to be Designed and Fabricated: DLN<br/>Fuel Injector with integrated Ceramic Insulated<br/>High Temperature Thermocouples
Test Article to be Designed and Fabricated: DLN
Fuel Injector with integrated Ceramic Insulated
High Temperature Thermocouples
University of Texas at El Paso
Website:  University of Texas at El Paso
Award Number:  FE0026330
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 09/30/2018
Total Award Value:  $250,000
DOE Share:  $250,000
Performer Share:  $0
Technology Area:  University Training and Research
Key Technology:  Sensors & Controls
Location:  El Paso, TX

Project Description

This work involves the exploration of design and prototyping of a Dry Low-NOx (DLN) fuel injector with integrated temperature sensing capabilities using the electron beam melting (EBM) additive manufacturing (AM) process. Low-NOx natural gas fuel injectors, commonly used in Dry Low NOX (DLN) gas turbine combustors, have complex internal cavities and passages to ensure tailored mixing of air and fuel to achieve ultra-low levels of NOX emissions. Since the current design methodology of these injectors is based on conventional fabrication techniques (e.g., multi-step machining and welding processes), a new paradigm of design methodology needs to be developed for their adaptation to the EBM fabrication process.

The proposed effort has three specific objectives: (1) development of design methodologies for Low-NOX fuel injectors with embedded temperature capabilities for EBM based 3D Manufacturing; (2) development of optimum EBM process parameters and powder removal techniques to remove sintered powder from internal cavities and channels of Low-NOx fuel injectors with embedded temperature sensors; and (3) testing of the EBM fabricated Low-NOx fuel injector with integrated temperature measurement capabilities in a High Pressure Laboratory turbine combustor.

Project Benefits

Metal AM processes allow the embedding or integrating of sensors in complex energy system components without post-production modification of the component. Conventional manufacturing processes generally require more than four to five steps of fabrication, assembly, and finishing to develop energy system components such as fuel injectors with complex internal geometries. In contrast, the same part can be fabricated in a single metal AM step with the option of sensor integration and more complex internal geometries.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Maria Reidpath:
Technology Manager 
Briggs White:
Principal Investigator 
Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri; Ryan Wicker:

Click to view Presentations, Papers, and Publications