Public Release: 

FEFU and RAS scientists have developed high-strength material for aircraft industry

The material developed can be used for the structural basis of nose cones and sharp edges of aircraft wings

Far Eastern Federal University


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Credit: John McArthur @snowjam

Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) have designed a brand-new high-strength ceramic material that can withstand prolonged exposure to supersonic airflow at temperatures above 2600°C.

With such characteristics, the material can be used in the aviation industry for the nose cones and the wings construction of the newest aircraft.

The brand-new material was synthesized from a compound of hafnium diboride (HfB2) mixed with nanocrystalline silicon carbide (nc-SiC) using Sol-Gel and Spark Plasma Sintering technologies. The strength of the ceramic composite was tested under the influence of supersonic airflow by means of a high-frequency induction plasmatron. After the 40-minute exposure to the supersonic airflow, the ceramic sample wasn't devastated, its mass loss was 0.04%. The thickness of the oxidized layer under these conditions was 10-20 micrometers. Also, there was no formation of the fields of low SiC content. The experiment confirmed the high durability characteristics of the composite.

"High-tech ceramics is very promising for industrial applications. The material developed can be used for the structural basis of nose cones and sharp edges of aircraft wings, which undergo the significant temperature fluctuations during super-speed heating (up to 2600 ° C)." A research participant Evgeniy Papynov commented, a researcher at the Laboratory for Nuclear Technologies of the FEFU School of Natural Sciences, a senior researcher at the Institute of Chemistry, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ph.D.

FEFU scientists develop and test new ultra-strong ceramic materials since 2013. The workflow is going on in cooperation with the institutes of the RAS located in Moscow and in the Far East. Raw materials for ceramics have been creating in Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry RAS creates. The Institute of Chemistry, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Vladivostok, is developing technologies for components combining by applying an innovative method for ceramics production - spark plasma sintering. In the FEFU laboratories, samples' physicochemical properties are being studied in detail and a comprehensive determination of its mechanical characteristics is carried out.

FEFU has the "Materials" priority research project in which talented physicists, chemists, biologists and materials scientists cooperate. After several years the project is valid, scientists have made significant progress in the development of materials that can withstand extremely high temperatures while maintaining durability. Recently, a unique refractory material has been created by FEFU scientists from a mixture of powders of carbide and hafnium nitride. Its melting point is above 4200K.


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