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New ceramic is resistant to temperature extremes

The ceramic was able to withstand temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees Celsius.

By Brooks Hays
New ceramic is resistant to temperature extremes
Researchers in Russia are developing a new ceramic they hope will better protect rocket and spacecraft components from extreme temperatures. Pictured, the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is raised vertical after it was rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, July 4, 2016. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan the morning of July 7. All three will spend approximately four months on the International Space Station, returning to Earth in October. NASA Photo by Bill Ingalls/UPI | License Photo

TOMSK, Russia, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Scientists in Russia are currently perfecting a new type of ceramic that can withstand extreme temperatures. The material could prove useful in space aeronautics and the construction of rocket engines.

Researchers at Tomsk State University have developed several iterations of ceramics derived from hafnium carbide and zirconium diboride and oxide. Samples of the layered ceramic were on display at the Second International Conference and Expo on Ceramics and Composite Materials, held in July in Berlin.

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In testing, the ceramic was able to withstand temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees Celsius. The most resilient metal alloys can withstand temperatures of no more than 2,000 degrees Celsius, while most metals can handle no more then 1,500 degrees Celsius.

The material will allow space and aviation engineers to push temperature limits inside the combustion chamber of jet engines. The ceramic could also better protect rocket components from the intense heat generated during re-entry into the atmosphere.

Scientists hope to begin testing the potential applications for their ceramic at the laboratories of the Roscosmos State Corporation, Russia's space agency.

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