UHTCs: Ultra-High Temperature Ceramic Materials for Extreme Environment Applications


Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics are a family of compounds that display a unique set of properties, including extremely high melting temperatures (> 3000⁰C), high hardness, and good chemical stability and strength at high temperatures. Structural materials for use in high-temperature oxidizing environments are presently limited mostly to SiC, Si3N4, oxide ceramics, and composites of these materials. The maximum-use temperatures of silicon-based ceramics are limited to approximately 1700⁰C due to the onset of active oxidation (lower temperatures in water vapor environments. The development of structural materials for use in oxidizing and rapid heating environments at temperatures above 1700⁰C is therefore of great engineering importance. UHTC materials are typically considered to be the carbides, nitrides, and borides of the transition metals, but the Group IV-V compounds (Ti, Zr, Hf, Ta) are generally considered to be the main focus of research due to the superior melting temperatures and formation of stable high-melting temperature oxides. The combination of properties make these materials potential candidates for a variety of hightemperature structural applications, including engines, hypersonic vehicles, plasma arc electrodes, cutting tools, furnace elements, and high temperature shielding.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Extreme environment; High hardness; High temperature; High-melting; High-temperature oxidizing; Melting temperatures; Oxide ceramics; Plasma arc; Rapid-heating; Silicon-based ceramics; Structural applications; Structural materials; Ultra-high-temperature ceramics; Borides; Chemical compounds; Chemical stability; Cutting tools; Hafnium; High temperature applications; Hypersonic aerodynamics; Hypersonic vehicles

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Article - Journal

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© 2007 Electrochemical Society, Inc., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2007

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