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Tough, 3D Printed Ceramics Could Help Build Hypersonic Planes

Date:2016-01-14 Hits:408
Tough, 3D Printed Ceramics Could Help Build Hypersonic Planes

Strong, flawless ceramics in various shapes, including spirals and honeycombs, can now can be created using 3D printing, researchers say.

These new materials could find use in hypersonic aircraft and microscopic devices, scientists added.

Ceramics possess many useful qualities, such as high strength, high hardness and resistance to corrosion, abrasion and extreme heat. However, one shortcoming limits certain uses of ceramics — they aren't easily morphed into complex shapes. Unlike metals and plastics, ceramics cannot easily be poured into molds or pared down to a desired form.

The researchers suggest that the strong, heat-resistant ceramics this new technique can make could find use "in a wide range of applications, from large components in jet engines and hypersonic vehicles to intricate parts in microelectromechanical systems," such as microsensors, Schaedler told Live Science.

Since ceramics are notoriously brittle, Schaedler said, "We are working to reinforce our ceramics with fibers."