Maurice Gell

gell_maurice_profileMaurice Gell
Professor-in-Residence Ph.D., Yale University

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
97 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3136
Storrs, CT 06269-3136
Office: IMS-301A
Phone: (860) 486-3514
Email: maurice.gell@uconn.edu  

Current Research

  • Advanced Coatings Technology Development For Enhanced Durability And Reduced Cost In Naval Applications
  • Superior Thermal Barrier Coatings Using A Novel Solution Spray Process
  • Development Of Laser Fluorescence As A Non-Destructive Inspection Technique For Thermal Barrier Coatings
  • Advanced Thermal Barrier Coatings For Industrial Engines
  • Thermal Barrier Coatings And Metallic Coatings With Improved Durability

Special Activities

Fellow of ASM International

Current Research Group

Post Doctoral Fellow Ph.D. Students M.S. Student  
Fang Wu Eric Cao Liangde Xie Wangang Xie Swetha Sridharan Yan Wu Mei Wen Jessica Shen Manish Mahdwal  
    Former Research Group Members  

Research Statement

Advanced Coatings Technology Development For Enhanced Durability And Reduced Cost In Naval Applications This is a multi-disciplinary program, funded by the Office of Naval Research, to cnduct research, development and technology implementation of nanostructured ceramic coatings. Faculty team members include Leon Shaw and Nitin Padture (Metallurgy & Materials Engineering), Ted Bergman, Baki Cetegen, Eric Jordan (Mechanical Engineering), and Paul Klemens, emeritus and Doug Pease (Physics). Nanostructured alumina-titania powder is plasma sprayed, under optimized conditions defined in the program, to produce a nanostructured coating. This nanostructured coating exhibits outstanding properties compared to a commercial coating of the same composition, including bond strength, toughness, impact resistance and wear resistance. The U.S. Navy has qualified the coating for shipboard and submarine applications. Research and development is underway on additional nanostructured coating, including yttria stabilized zirconia for thermal barrier coatings and chromia for wear and corrosion resistance. Superior Thermal Barrier Coatings Using A Novel Solution Spray Process This is a multi-disciplinary program, funded by the Office of Naval Research, to conduct research on more durable, low-cost thermal barrier coatings using a novel plasma spray process that uses a liquid precursor solution, instead of powder. Faculty team members include Nitin Padture (Metallurgy & Materials Engineering), and Baki Cetegen and Eric Jordan (Mechanical Engineering). The solution spray process produces a unique microstructure, consisting of 15 to 25 volume percent porosity, through thickness microcracks and a microstructure free of splat boundaries. The unique Microstructural features provide enhanced strain tolerance for these coatings, and are responsible for the improved durability demonstrated in initial thermal cycle tests. Development Of Laser Fluorescence As A Non-Destructive Inspection Technique For Thermal Barrier Coatings This program, conducted with co-PI Eric Jordan under Department of Energy Advanced Gas Turbine System funding, builds on an earlier program in which the feasibility was demonstrated for using laser fluorescence to measure the stress in the thermally grown oxide (TGO) that forms on the bond coat of a thermal barrier coating (TBC). In this program, three production TBCs are being thermally cycled at various temperatures and hold times and the stress in the TGO is being measured as a function of life fraction. It is found that the laser fluorescence signal changes in a characteristic fashion with each TBC. This allows this technique to be used to assess initial coating quality and life remaining for thermally cycled specimens and components. Renishaw, Inc, a microRaman instrument manufacturer, is developing a portable instrument that will be commercially available to measure TGO stress on turbine blades in the engine and on the shop floor. There is a high degree of industrial interest in this program, as evidenced by UConn partnership with ABB, Allied Signal Engines, GE Power Systems, Howmet International, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce-Allison, Siemens-Westinghouse Power Company, and Solar Turbines. Advanced Thermal Barrier Coatings For Industrial Engines This program is conducted with co-PI Nitin Padture under Department of Energy Advanced Gas Turbine System Research funding. The objective is to develop an advanced TBC with reduced thermal conductivity, higher temperature capability and improved hot corrosion resistance. Ceramic data bases are being assessed based on 8 physical and mechanical properties that improved TBCs should possess. The best compositions will be selected and TBCs will be made by electron beam physical vapor deposition processes. These candidate, advanced TBCs will be thermal cycled, and the thermal conductivity reduction and durability improvements will be assessed. Thermal Barrier Coatings And Metallic Coatings With Improved Durability This program is conducted with co-PI Eric Jordan under Department of Energy Advanced Gas Turbine System Research funding. We have established in an earlier DOE AGTSR program that the durability of thermal barrier coatings is greatly effected by the perfection of the bond coat and the thermally grown oxide that forms on the bond coat. In this program, we will study the effects of (1) bond coat surface roughness, (2) bond coat defects and (3) the presence or absence of transient oxides on thermal barrier coating durability will be assessed.

Previous Positions

  Manager of High Temperature Materials and Coatings Development, Pratt & Whitney

Awards & Honors

1989 and 1993 United Technologies Leadership Awards for High Temperature Coatings Work
1986 ASM International Engineering Materials Award
  Cited in Who’s Who In America, Who’s Who in Engineering, and American Men and Women in Science
1980 United Technologies Gold Medal for Engineering Achievement