This webinar is limited to DoD and DoD contractors (CUI // Distribution D). To be approved for registration, please use your official email address for verification.


This SERDP and ESTCP webinar focuses on DoD-funded research efforts to solve issues with gas turbine engine ingestion of dirt particles that can erode compressor airfoils and significantly impact engine performance. Specifically, investigators will present a novel airfoil coating called BlackGold® developed to protect engines used to power DoD aircraft, ships and tanks, as well as efforts to transition the use of this technology widely across DoD and commercial aviation. 


Compressor Airfoil Protective Coatings for Turbine Engine Fuel Efficiency” by Mr. Greg Kilchenstein and Mr. Marcio Duffles (ESTCP Project WP-201009

Gas turbine engines (GTE) power the DoD’s aircraft, ships, and tanks. The heart of the engine necessary for power generation is the compressor section. During operations, the GTE regularly ingests sand, dirt and fluid particles that erode the compressor airfoils which degrades engine performance. This can lead to power reduction, increased fuel consumption and emissions and early engine removals. To address this issue, a novel airfoil coating called BlackGold® has been developed, extensively tested and widely adopted across DoD and commercial aviation. This presentation will provide an overview of this nefarious GTE failure mode, the ESTCP effort that has contributed to advancing a solution, and a synopsis of the status of a myriad of efforts that are working to transition BlackGold® widely across the DoD and commercial aviation. 

Speaker Biographies

Mr. Greg Kilchenstein is currently the Chief Technologist for the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS). In this capacity, he provides subject matter expertise, vision and advises senior leaders regarding the strategic direction NCMS needs to pursue to remain a leader in the maintenance and sustainment community. From February 2005 to June 2021, Mr. Kilchenstein served as the Director of Enterprise Maintenance Technology in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance where he was responsible for developing the policy and implementing programs that promote technology enablers which focus on sustaining materiel readiness at best cost. Specifically, Mr. Kilchenstein led development and issuance of DoD-wide policies including Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+), Serialized Item Management (SIM), Innovation and Technology for Sustainment, and the Use of Robotics for Sustainment. In this role, Greg served also DoD’s Program Officer responsible for growing the Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA) program that is now DoD’s sustainment innovation venue of choice. Prior to this, he worked for both the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Naval Air Systems Command. Mr. Kilchenstein completed his undergraduate work in aerospace engineering and graduate level studies in systems engineering at the University of Maryland. 

Mr. Marcio Duffles is the Vice President of Business Development at MDS Coating Technologies in Washington, DC. Since 1997, he has been involved in transitioning MDS Coating’s erosion/corrosion protective coatings onto over 30 gas turbine engines for military and commercial aircraft and ground-based vehicles, and industrial power plants. Early successes included implementing erosion protective coatings for the U.S. Marine Corps CH-53 and CH-46 helicopters. He has successfully proposed and managed contracts from NAVAIR, U.S. Air Force, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research, Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Foreign Comparative Testing and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, various Small Business Innovation Research contracts, and the Federal Aviation Association’s Continuous Lower Energy Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program. He began his aviation career with NAVAIR and worked for NAVAIR’s Propulsion Division for 14 years as an Engine Performance Analyst and Propulsion Technology Manager. Mr. Duffles completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland.