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A promising refractory material with record melting point was created at Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) for the first time in the world. A pure sample obtained under extreme conditions for the synthesis of a mixture of carbide and hafnium nitride powders has a calculated melting point above 4200K. The new material may be used in thermonuclear power engineering, space, missile, and aircraft production.
The successful attempt to obtain this material by the method of pulsed plasma sintering was carried out by the staff of the Laboratory of Nuclear Technology of the FEFU School of Natural Sciences (SNS) Alexey Zavyalov and Evgeny Papynov (also a senior research fellow at the Institute of Chemistry of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, FEB RAS).
As the researchers point out, materials with a melting point above 2000K are called refractory ones. The development of new devices and apparatus in the advanced industries requires the search for new, ultra-refractory materials.
To date, the record in refractoriness holds Tantalum Hafnium Carbide (Ta4HfC5) with a melting point of 4200K. The material obtained by the team of FEFU and RAS researchers has a theoretically predicted melting point of 200K above the record temperature.
“We are confident that the new material will find wide application in advanced industries,” stressed Professor Ivan Tananaev, the Director of the Academic Department of Nuclear Technology, FEFU SNS. “Now we face the task of optimizing the process and deeply studying the ways of solid-phase transformations occurring during the synthesis.”