Russian scientists have created the most refractory material in the world

(ORDO NEWS) — Material scientists MISiS have created a ceramic material, hafnium carbonitride, capable of withstanding a record temperature of 4200 ° C. This is confirmed by the results of computer simulation, which predicted the refractory properties and high hardness of such a material.

Previously, tantalum-hafnium carbide was considered the most refractory substance with a melting point of 3990 ° C. After the end of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists plan to conduct an experiment that will determine the melting point of the new material.

Material scientists at the MISiS National Research Technological University have created the world’s most refractory ceramic material, hafnium carbonitride, capable of withstanding temperatures of 4200 ° C. This was reported in the journal Ceramics International.

Until now, tantalum-hafnium carbide with a melting point of 3990 ° C was considered the most refractory compound created by man. The study of American colleagues in 2015, in which computer temperature simulations predicted exceptional temperature properties and high hardness of a composite compound of hafnium, carbon and nitrogen, prompted the idea of ​​creating a more refractory material for materials scientists MISiS. According to the calculations of researchers from the United States, this substance must withstand approximately 4200 ° C, be characterized by high thermal conductivity and resistance to oxidation.

“To obtain the new material, a triple hafnium-carbon-nitrogen system was used. Using self-propagating high-temperature synthesis, we obtained the substance hafnium carbonitride – nitrogen-saturated hafnium carbide, ”said Dmitry Moskovskikh, director of the research center for structural and ceramic nanomaterials at MISiS, in an interview with RT.

Next, scientists compared the fusibility of two materials: the starting hafnium carbide (melts at 3990 ° C) and the resulting hafnium carbonitride. Using a battery and molybdenum electrodes, they simultaneously heated two materials in high vacuum. As a result, the carbide melted, and the carbonitride remained unchanged.

However, at the moment, scientists note, they could not determine the specific melting temperature of the new material above 4000 ° C.

To confirm all the properties of the new material, predicted by computer simulation, scientists need to conduct additional experiments. For this, according to Dmitry Moskovsky, an agreement was concluded with the Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences on pyrometric analysis, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After removing the restrictions, a study is planned during which hafnium carbonitride will be melted by a laser with simultaneous measurement of thermophysical properties, including the melting point.

According to scientists, the development of such high-temperature materials will be in demand in the creation of aviation, rocket and space and special military equipment. At hypersonic speed and when passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, engines, wings and nose fairings of aircraft operate at temperatures above 2000 ° C and must be protected from the effects of the external environment. In such devices, ceramic thermal protection is applied using the most durable and refractory composite materials.

In the future, to test the possibility of using hafnium carbonitride in the aerospace industry, a hypersonic study is planned to study ablation – the evaporation of the outer layers of the material.

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