Following the Kyoto Conference on Climate Change (COP3) held in 1997, the improvement of thermal efficiency in power engineering systems is becoming a major issue. In High Temperature Materials 21 Project at NIMS, materials for turbine blades and vanes are being developed to improve the temperature capability and reduce the CO2 emission of industrial gas turbines (IGT) and jet engines. The target for Ni-base superalloys was set at 1100°C for 1000h creep rupture life under 137MPa to realize ultra-efficient combined cycle power plants and advanced jet engines. A high cost-performance single crystal (SC) superalloy TMS-82+ with 1075°C temperature capability has been developed and tested in a 15MW IGT. A 4th generation SC superalloy TMS-138 exhibiting 1080°C temperature capability has also been developed and tested in a 1650°C test jet engine. TMS-138 is to be applied in the Japanese eco-engine project for 50-seater jet airplanes. A further control of the interfacial dislocation network resulted in a 5th generation SC alloy TMS-162 with 1105°C temperature capability. A virtual gas turbine (VT), which is a combination of materials design program and system design program, is being developed and becoming a powerful tool as an interface between material scientists and system engineers. Using VT, air-cooled blades with our SC superalloys have been evaluated up to 1700°C gas temperature, and a substantial improvement in thermal efficiency of a combined-cycle power generation system has been indicated.

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