Researchers at The University of Manchester in collaboration with Central South University (CSU), China, have created a new kind of ceramic coating that could revolutionise hypersonic travel for air, space and defense purposes.
Hypersonic travel means moving at Mach five or above, which is at least five times faster than the speed of sound. When moving at such velocity the heat generated by air and gas in the atmosphere is extremely hot and can have a serious impact on an aircraft or projectile’s structural integrity. That is because he temperatures hitting the aircraft can reach anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 °C.
The structural problems are primarily caused by processes called oxidation and ablation. This is the when extremely hot air and gas remove surface layers from the metallic materials of the aircraft or object travelling at such high speeds. To combat the problem materials called ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) are needed in aero-engines and hypersonic vehicles such as rockets, re-entry spacecraft and defence projectiles.
But, at present, even conventional UHTCs can’t currently satisfy the associated ablation requirements of travelling at such extreme speeds and temperatures. However, the researchers at The University of Manchester’s and the Royce Institute, in collaboration with the Central South University of China, have designed and fabricated a new carbide coating that is vastly superior in resisting temperatures up to 3,000 °C, when compared to existing UHTCs.
Professor Philip Withers, Regius Professor from The University of Manchester, says: “Future hypersonic aerospace vehicles offer the potential of a step jump in transit speeds. A hypersonic plane could fly from London to New York in just two hours and would revolutionise both commercial and commuter travel.
“But at present one of the biggest challenges is how to protect critical components such as leading edges, combustors and nose tips so that they survive the severe oxidation and extreme scouring of heat fluxes at such temperatures cause to excess during flight.”
Future hypersonic aerospace vehicles offer the potential of a step jump in transit speeds. A hypersonic plane could fly from London to New York in just two hours and would revolutionise both commercial and commuter travel.
Professor Philip Withers
So far, the carbide coating developed by teams in both University of Manchester and Central South University is proving to be 12 times better than the conventional UHTC, Zirconium carbide (ZrC). ZrC is an extremely hard refractory ceramic material commercially used in tool bits for cutting tools.
The much improved performance of the coating is due to its unique structural make-up and features manufactured at the Powder Metallurgy Institute, Central South University and studied in University of Manchester, School of Materials. This includes extremely good heat resistance and massively improved oxidation resistance.
What makes this coating unique is it has been made using a process called reactive melt infiltration (RMI), which dramatically reduces the time needed to make such materials, and has been in reinforced with carbon–carbon composite (C/C composite). This makes it not only strong but extremely resistant to the usual surface degradation.
Professor Ping Xiao, Professor of Materials Science, who led the study in University of Manchester explains: “Current candidate UHTCs for use in extreme environments are limited and it is worthwhile exploring the potential of new single-phase ceramics in terms of reduced evaporation and better oxidation resistance. In addition, it has been shown that introducing such ceramics into carbon fibre-reinforced carbon matrix composites may be an effective way of improving thermal-shock resistance.”
The Latest on: Hypersonic travel
[google_news title=”” keyword=”hypersonic travel” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
- Dr. Sohaib Khan Becomes First Pakistani to Successfully Test Supersonic Combustion for Hypersonic Cruiseon September 18, 2023 at 11:55 pm
A supersonic combustion jet engine, often referred to as a scramjet (short for "supersonic combustion ramjet"), is a type of air-breathing jet engine ...
- Hypersonic Missiles Are Game-Changers, and America Doesn’t Have Themon September 18, 2023 at 6:46 pm
The U.S. military is pouring resources into the superfast weapons but has struggled to develop them. China and Russia are far ahead.
- Russia shows N Korea’s Kim hypersonic missiles, nuclear-capable bomberson September 16, 2023 at 7:56 pm
North Korean leader continues tour of Russia with visit to airbase where he inspected latest Russian missiles, bombers.
- North Korea's Kim inspects Russian nuclear-capable bombers, hypersonic missileson September 16, 2023 at 7:54 am
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers, hypersonic missiles and warships on Saturday, accompanied by President Vladimir Putin's defence minister.
- North Korea's Kim views Russian nuclear-capable bombers, hypersonic missileson September 16, 2023 at 1:41 am
Washington has accused North Korea of providing arms to Russia, but it is unclear whether any deliveries have been made.
- Boeing Huntsville wins $70M contract for hypersonic missile killeron September 14, 2023 at 10:23 am
Boeing has won a $70.5 million defense contract to help develop prototype missiles capable of downing hypersonic missiles with 36 percent of that work done in Huntsville ...
- Boeing lands $70.5M contract to test interceptor of hypersonic missileson September 12, 2023 at 9:02 am
The proposed “kill vehicle” is designed to destroy the missiles during their glide phase, before they begin rapid maneuvers and become more difficult to target.
- Morphing hypersonic engine project is underway at UCFon September 10, 2023 at 10:35 pm
The US Naval Research Laboratory has funded a groundbreaking project to develop a new hypersonic engine capable of morphing its shape during flight to optimize power, thrust and efficiency. It's now ...
- New Frontier Aerospace aims to zoom from hypersonic flight’s past into its futureon September 8, 2023 at 6:38 pm
Thirty years after the first flight of the DC-X rocket ship, a commercial venture is aiming to bring its legacy to life in the Seattle area ...
- New DOD-funded project will develop morphing hypersonic engineon September 7, 2023 at 5:00 pm
A new Naval Research Laboratory funded project led by a UCF researcher will work to create a morphing hypersonic engine for ultra-fast travel, building on UCF’s already leading edge developing ...
via Google News and Bing News