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Scientists discover world's most heat resistant material capable of withstanding nearly 4,000 degrees Celsius temperatures

Scientists Have Identified Materials That Can Withstand Temperatures Of Nearly 4,000 Degrees Celsius, An Advance That May Pave The Way For Improved Heat Resistant Shielding For The Faster-than-ever Hypersonic Space Vehicles.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Gautam Lalotra | Updated on: 25 Dec 2016, 03:23:56 PM
Hafnium Carbide - File Photo

New Delhi:

Scientists have identified materials that can withstand temperatures of nearly 4,000 degrees Celsius, an advance that may pave the way for improved heat resistant shielding for the faster-than-ever hypersonic space vehicles. 

Researchers from Imperial College London in the UK discovered that the melting point of hafnium carbide is the highest ever recorded for a material.

Scientists have identified materials that can withstand temperatures of nearly 4,000 degrees Celsius, an advance that may pave the way for improved heat resistant shielding for the faster-than-ever hypersonic space vehicles. 

In particular, the team from Imperial College London discovered that the melting point of hafnium carbide is the highest ever recorded for a material. Being able to withstand temperatures of nearly 4000°C could pave the way for both materials to be used in ever more extreme environments, such as in heat resistant shielding for the next generation of hypersonic space vehicles.

Tantalum carbide (TaC) and hafnium carbide (HfC) are refractory ceramics, meaning they are extraordinarily resistant to heat. 

Their ability to withstand extremely harsh environments means that refractory ceramics could be used in thermal protection systems on high-speed vehicles and as fuel cladding in the super-heated environments of nuclear reactors.

However, there hasn't been the technology available to test the melting point of TaC and HfC in the lab to determine how truly extreme an environment they could function in.

The researchers of the study, which is published in the journal Scientific Reports, developed a new extreme heating technique using lasers to test the heat tolerance of TaC and HfC. They used the laser-heating techniques to find the point at which TaC and HfC melted, both separately and as mixed compositions of both.


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First Published : 25 Dec 2016, 02:40:00 PM

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