25th Oct 2012 9:56am | By Editor
Researchers have overcome one of the first hurdles of hypersonic plane design, bringing the possibility of travel at five times the speed of sound a little nearer.
University of Melbourne scientists have developed a cheaper and more efficient way to make heat-resistant ceramic parts tough enough for use in rockets and hypersonic planes.
Carolina Tallon, from the university’s Defence Materials Technology Centre told Fresh Science:
"The ceramic pieces we have made are stronger and will survive to higher temperatures than those used on the space shuttle," Dr Tallon told Fresh Science.
The ceramic they have created could withstand temperatures of 3400C, and is designed for use in the parts of the plane that would get the hottest, such as the nose and wings.
Hypersonic flights would allow passenger planes to fly at five times the speed of sound.
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