Newly 3000°C Ablative Ceramic Coating Successfully Developed - Multi-boron-containing Single-phase Carbide
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Boron carbide is also known as black Diamond. It has a molecular structure of B4C. The powder is typically grayish. It is one the three hardest materials known (the other two being diamond and cubic boronnitride), which are used in many industrial applications, including tank armor, torso armor, and body armor. It has a Mohs toughness of 9.3. A large number of tests were conducted by the team of Academician Huang Boyun of Central South University’s National Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy to develop a new ceramic coating and composite materials that are resistant to ablation of 3000 degC. This discovery may pave a way for the development hypersonic cars.
According to Professor Xiong Xiang of the Institute of Powder Metallurgy of Central South University's Institute of Powder Metallurgy (IPM), hypersonic flight is defined as a flight speed that is at least 6120 km/h, or 5 times faster than the sound. With such high speeds, the flight between Beijing and New York could be completed in just 2 hours if the aircraft's key structural components can handle severe air friction as well as hot air impacts of 2000-3000 deg. C. . Central South University has developed ceramic composites and coatings for ultra-high temperatures that provide better protection of the above components. The world's very first synthesis of a single-phase quaternary boron carbide ultra-high-temperature ceramic material has been reported. It has also been made into a "coating", perfect "fusion", with carbon-carbon-materials. In the current field, new materials are dominated by the study of mixed material systems in binary compound system. The successful application of materials quaternary to hypersonic will be greatly facilitated by its development.
The novel ceramic coated modified carbon/carbon material is composed by a single-phase carbide of zirconium (quarterary), titanium, carbon, and boron. It has a stable carbide-crystal structure. Infiltration of a multiceramic phase is the main method for obtaining it. The ultra high temperature ceramic combines the high-temperature adaptability of carbides and the anti-oxidation property of borides. This makes the composites, coatings, and materials exhibit superior ablation and thermal shock resistance. The ceramic oxide can withstand an ultra-high temperature of 3000 degC and has low oxygen diffusion rates, self-healing properties at high temperatures, dense and gradient ceramic coatings, all of which make the ceramic a lighter material. Ablation loss rate.
"Because the ultra-high-temperature ceramic combines carbides' high temperature adaptability with borides' anti-oxidation properties, the coatings and materials above have superior ablation and thermal shock resistance. This is essential for hypersonic cars. The promising candidates," said Xiong Xiang.
Nature Communications published on 15th June the results of research conducted by the team. The State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy of Central South University was the first completion unit of this thesis. Zeng Yi and Professor Xiong Xiang are the first correspondents. First author is the doctor. The University of Manchester (UK), a partner unit of the University of Manchester, UK characterized the material and performed an analysis.
After publication, the article attracted a great deal of interest from the foreign media and academic circles. In the three days immediately following publication, this article was downloaded over 5,000-times, while other articles were only downloaded 300 to 900-times. The Daily Mail in Britain, The Economist in the United States and Public Machinery (Russia) have all covered the research. . According to a reviewer at Nature Newsletter, the above research results "will ignite the academic excitement and interest in applying quaternary materials in hypersonic fields, because this material system represents a promising one."
The team has been working on anti-oxidation coatings for carbon/carbon composites since 2002. This was done with the help of the National 863 and 973, as well as the National Natural Science Foundation. Professor Chang Xiang is the leader of this project. Find a new ultra high temperature ceramic coating that has excellent oxidation resistance, and resistance to ablation. During the research, the material systems screened, from the initial silica carbide to strontium carbide (and then titanium carbide), zirconium carbonate, zirconium boreide, tantalum carbide and other hundreds of high temperature materials, involved almost all existing ultra-high-temperature ceramics and composites. It has taken 15 years to achieve the breakthrough of developing new ablation-resistant coatings in 3000 degC ultra high temperature environment.
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