Johnson, Sylvia M. Entry Systems and Technology Division, Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Moffett Field, California.
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Ultrahigh-temperature ceramics (UHTCs) are refractory, high thermal conductivity materials that have significant potential for use in aerospace applications, especially sharp leading edges of wings. The materials have been under development for many years, but interest has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. Progress has been made in processing these materials and characterizing and improving their properties. The two major issues are low fracture toughness and insufficient oxidation resistance. Approaches to improve these properties include the development of composites to improve fracture toughness and the use of additives and compositional changes to improve oxidation.
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