École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique

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ANR Chair – LabCom


The Pprime Institute, and more particularly the Damage and Sustainability team (ENDO), has obtained funding for the ANR-Safran TOPAZE Chair for the period 2020-2024. This chair, led by the CEMEF (Mines ParisTech – Chairholder Prof. Nathalie Bozzolo) and the Pprime Institute (ISAE-ENSMA – Co-Holder of the chair Dr. Patrick Villechaise) is a continuation of the ANR – Safran OPALE chair.

This research program consists of 10 PhDs, divided evenly between the two university laboratories, half of them focusing on “upstream” research and the other half on “applied” research on the problems of Safran group companies. The overall budget for this chair is €1.9 million for the duration of the program.

Duration of the Chair: 2020 – 2024

Overall budget: €1.9 millions


    The TOPAZE Chair, tlike the previous OPALE Chair which ended in 2019 (13 PhDs, 4 post-doctorates, €2.3 millions budget), deals with the impact of forming processes on the microstructures of forged nickel-based superalloys and the impact of these microstructures on the mechanical strength and durability of these alloys in service. Indeed, these materials are key to the manufacture of high integrity rotating components of aeronautical gas turbines (civil and military aircraft turbojet engines, helicopter turboshaft engines) such as high pressure turbine discs and low pressure turbine rings. Thus, the work of the TOPAZE Chair aims not only to improve the mechanical performance of these components, but also to reduce the environmental footprint of civil aviation, while maintaining the highest levels of technical and academic expertise in these areas in France.

    Since 2015, the OPALE and TOPAZE chairs have generated more than 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as 9 scientific awards and distinctions for the permanent members or PhD students of the two teams. These chair programmes give the Pprime Institute and ISAE-ENSMA international recognition in these “superalloy” activities.

      The joint CNRS-Safran-CEMEF-Pprime laboratory, OPALE, which is attached to the TOPAZE chair programme, started in 2019, with a very similar research theme. This status of joint CNRS laboratory allows for better interactions between industrial and academic players (more presence of industrialists on university sites in particular and vice versa) and ensures the sustainability of these research activities beyond the duration of the TOPAZE chair via 4 additional PhDs to be launched at the end of the TOPAZE chair.

        Microstructure gradient in advanced nickel-based superalloy disks
        ISAE-ENSMA/ETS Montréal/Aubert et Duval Patent – PhD work of Marco Panella (2021).
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