Advanced ceramics are used in aerospace including the following aspects: Electrical, Structural, Turbine, etc.


Electrical Applications


Advanced ceramics can be used as electrical components, such as sensors, antennas, capacitors and resistors, are getting increasingly smaller and more capable. These parts are widely found in aircraft.


Structural Applications


Structural ceramics (crystalline inorganic non-metals) are used in aerospace as thermal barrier coatings in the hot part of the engine. These materials are also used in composites either as reinforcement and/or as a matrix such as in ceramic matrix composites. Ceramics are lighter than most metals and stable at temperatures substantially above high-grade technical plastics. As a result, structural ceramic applications include thermal protection systems in rocket exhaust cones, insulating tiles for the space shuttle, missile nose cones, and engine components.


Turbine Applications


Technical ceramics have been used as various parts of the engine for the past 30-40 years, but a lot of activity currently surrounds the development of silicon carbide (SiC/SiC composites) for use in jet engine turbines, mainly concentrated on the turbine blades. The main driver is fuel efficiency, as engineers seek to run the jet engine without the need for cooling channels that currently stop the metal alloy blades from melting. If the blades were made of ceramic composites, which could deal with temperatures of 1,500-1,600°C, the engine could run at higher temperatures. Energy efficiency would therefore increase, which leads to less fuel and the airplane’s ability to fly further or more efficiently.