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) and used in many industrial applications, including tank 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 3000°C ablation. 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 at a speed equal or greater than five times the speed of the sound, which is approximately 6,120 kilometers per hours. With such high speeds, the flight between Beijing and New York could be completed in just 2 hours if key structural components can withstand air friction of up to 2000-3000 °C. . Central South University has developed ceramic composite materials and coatings for ultra-high temperatures that provide better protection of the above components. The world's very first synthesis of boron carbide single phase ultra-high temperature ceramics, made into coatings, is said to be the work of Central South University. The current focus of research in the area of new materials is on the mixed materials of binary compound system. The successful application of materials based on quaternary systems in hypersonic will be greatly facilitated by its development.
The novel ceramic coated modified carbon/carbon material is composed by a single-phase carbide containing boron and zirconium. It also contains titanium, carbon, and boron. 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 and coatings have 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 carbide's high temperature adaptability with boride's anti-oxidation property, the coatings and materials above have superior thermal shock resistance and ablation resistant, which are the keys to hypersonic vehicle. 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 organization, has characterised and analyzed this material.
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 the reviewer in Nature Newsletter: "The above results will ignite academic excitement and interest in applying quaternary materials in the field of hypersonics, because it represents a very promising system of material."
The team began working with Professor Chang Xiang in 2002 with the help of the National 863 and 973, as well as the National Natural Science Foundation. They were led by a Yangtze River scholar, Professor Chang Xiang. Find a new ultra high temperature ceramic coating that has excellent oxidation resistance, and resistance to ablation. The material systems screened during the research included all existing high temperature ceramics, high temperature composites, and dozens more. 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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