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One of the main problems which occurred when the man was raised the conquest of space are the high temperatures to which the ships had to undergo at the exit of the atmosphere. When in addition the probes were carrying people and, in addition, return them safely to Earth (which implied the re-entry into the atmosphere), things are complicated even more. And as science and space travel become more and more ambitious, the technology will have to face extreme temperatures, with differences of thousands of degrees celsius. Hence the importance of the new avence created by a group of scientists from the National University of Science and Technology MYSIS (Russia), who have found the way to build the material more resistant to heat ever created by man.

it Is, specifically, a ceramic material with the highest melting point among the compounds currently known. Due to the unique combination of physical properties, mechanical and thermal, the material is promising for use not only in spacecraft, but also aircraft. The results are published in Ceramics International.

Many space agencies leaders, such as the NASA , THIS or Jaxa are actively developing aircraft spatial reusable -as the secret prototype of the u.s. Government X-37B-which will significantly reduce the cost of carrying people and cargo to orbit, as well as reduce the time intervals between flights. However, it is necessary to find a material that will support several of these trips, delaying their degradation as much as possible.

“today, we have achieved significant results, but exit the atmosphere and re-enter you can assume that for the surface of the wings of a plane space increases the temperature up to the 2,000 degrees C, reaching 4,000 degrees C in some areas,” says Dmitry Moskovskikh , head of the Center NUST MYSIS for Ceramic Materials of Construction, in a press release.

One of the researchers, poses with the new ceramic material – MYSIS

During recent developments, the goal of scientists was to create a material with the highest melting point -step-of-state ólido to fluid – and high mechanical properties . We chose the triple system hafnium-carbon-nitrogen, the carbonitride of hafnium (Hf-CN), because a previous study from Brown University (EE. UU.) indicated that the carbonitride of hafnium would have a high thermal conductivity and oxidation resistance, as well as a higher melting point among all the known compounds ( approximately 4,200 degrees C ). So they got a material that is closer to the ideal of this compound theoretical.

“it Is difficult to measure the melting point of a material when it exceeds 4,000 degrees С. Therefore, we decided to compare the melting temperatures of the synthesized compound with the carbide of hafnium. To do this, we placed samples compressed HFC and HfCN in a plate of graphite in the shape of weighs, and covered the top with a plate similar to prevent heat loss,” explains Veronika Buinevich , a graduate student of NUST MYSIS.

Then, he was connected to a battery by using some electrodes of molybdenum in conditions of deep vacuum. The tests showed that the new compound would resist the heat better and had a higher melting point than the theoretical with which he had compared. What is more, it is so high that could not be determined accurately in the laboratory because from temperatures of 4,000 degrees it is difficult to recreate the experiments.

In the future, the team plans to conduct experiments to measure the melting temperature by means of pyrometry high temperature using a laser or electrical resistance. They also plan to study the performance of the carbonitride of hafnium resulting in conditions hypersonic, which will be relevant to its later application in the aerospace industry.