Aeronautics & Space

Improving lifetime predictions for aircraft components: Insights into the internal oxidation processes of ceramic matrix composites

By Lisa McDonald / January 31, 2023

Though ceramic matrix composites for aircraft have entered commercial operation, there still are some knowledge gaps regarding the oxidation of these materials. Two researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, conducted an experiment on internal CMC oxidation that provided new insights into the oxidation processes and highlighted deficiencies in the current standard oxidation model.

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Planning for Mars: Researchers explore thermal properties of cermet fuel that may be used in future nuclear propulsion systems

By Lisa McDonald / November 22, 2022

To achieve manned missions to Mars, spacecraft will need to maximize fuel usage. Nuclear thermal propulsion is one technology actively on NASA’s radar. In a recent study, researchers from Missouri S&T and NASA Marshall used a surrogate material to explore the thermal properties of a cermet fuel that may be used in future nuclear propulsion systems.

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Ceramics and glass in space, plus more inside December 2022 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / November 17, 2022

The December 2022 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring an overview of ceramics and glass used in space travel and exploration—is now available online. Plus—new C&GM and ceramicSOURCE 2023.

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Video: Observatory tidings—as research pivots to education in Puerto Rico, Iranian telescope records first light

By Lisa McDonald / November 9, 2022

While missions that take place in space often capture media headlines, ground-based operations are equally important in our search to understand the cosmos. Today’s CTT covers two recent announcements concerning observatories in Puerto Rico and Iran.

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Next-gen spacecraft: In-development solid oxide fuel cells offer bipropellant enabled electrical power supply

By Lisa McDonald / September 20, 2022

Mass and volume limitations make it challenging to load a spacecraft with all the equipment needed for a mission. An effort led by the Air Force Research Laboratory is developing a solid oxide fuel cell that converts chemical energy in a spacecraft’s bipropellant into electricity, thereby allowing an existing spacecraft component to be used as an auxiliary power supply.

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Cosmos creation—exploring formation of ceramic materials in space

By Lisa McDonald / July 22, 2022

The universe contains many complex chemistries and phenomena yet to be discovered or explained. Two recent studies offer a glimpse into how some ceramic materials may form in space.

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New method shows promise repairing localized damage in thermal barrier coatings

By Lisa McDonald / July 12, 2022

Repairing localized damage in thermal barrier coatings on aircraft turbine blades can require full coat removal and reapplication to avoid blocking cooling holes in the blade. Forschungszentrum Jülich researchers proposed a new laser-cladding-based additive manufacturing technique that shows promise repairing localized damage without the need for full coat removal.

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Toward next-gen environmental barrier coatings—effect of thermal ageing on microstructure and elastic properties of ytterbium silicates

By Lisa McDonald / May 10, 2022

Ytterbium-based silicates are a current generation of environmental barrier coating materials that demonstrate much promise for protecting ceramic matrix composite components in jet engines. Researchers from the University of Manchester examined the effect of thermal ageing on microstructural characteristics and elastic properties of these silicates.

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Mullite precursor method may be a game changer for fabricating ceramic matrix composites

By Lisa McDonald / April 22, 2022

Oxide–oxide ceramic matrix composites have desirable properties for use in engine components, but conventional processing techniques usually require high temperatures and pressures, which damage the oxide fiber. Researchers in India developed a one-step process for synthesizing mullite precursors that could lower sintering temperature.

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Video: Startup company looks to launch new method of spaceflight

By Lisa McDonald / February 2, 2022

Finding another way to propel a rocket into space that does not rely on fuel may allow for simpler and less expensive rockets. California-based SpinLaunch is developing a novel ground-based system to launch rockets into orbit using kinetic energy rather than fuel.

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