Silicon carbide fiber of new military material: ideal material for aero-engine hot end structure (with report)

The silicon carbide industry is booming, and there is a large space for industrialization in China

Silicon carbide fiber has the advantages of high temperature oxidation resistance, high hardness, high strength, high thermal stability, corrosion resistance and low density. It is one of the most ideal aerospace high temperature resistance, reinforcement and stealth materials. After three generations of SiC fiber development, the domestic SiC fiber technology has reached the international level, and has broken through the second and third generation SiC key technologies, but there is still huge development potential in terms of industrialization capabilities. SiC/SiC composites prepared from silicon carbide fibers have broad application prospects in aviation, aerospace, nuclear energy and other fields. According to StratisticsMRC, the silicon carbide fiber market will grow to $3.587 billion by 2026, with a 10-year compound annual growth rate of 34.4%. Driven by factors such as the development of new equipment and engine research in developing countries, the global ceramic matrix composites market is expected to grow from US$8.8 billion in 2021 to US$25 billion in 2031, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.0%. (As estimated by MarketsandMarkets).

SiC/SiC has excellent heat resistance and will replace the application of superalloys in aero-engines

High thrust-to-weight ratio is the constant pursuit of advanced aero-engines, and with the increase of engine thrust-to-weight ratio, the turbine inlet temperature continues to increase, and the existing superalloy material system is difficult to meet advanced aeroengines. For example, the turbine inlet temperature of the existing engine with a thrust-to-weight ratio of 10 has reached 1500 °C, and the average temperature of the turbine inlet of an engine with a thrust-to-weight ratio of 12 to 15 will exceed 1800 °C, which is far higher than the operating temperature of superalloys and intermetallic compounds. At present, the working temperature of nickel-based superalloy materials with the best heat resistance can only reach about 1100 °C. However, SiC/SiC can be used up to 1650℃, which is considered to be the most ideal material for the hot end structure of aero-engine.

In developed aviation countries such as Europe and the United States, SiC/SiC has been practically applied and mass-produced in aero-engine stationary parts, including M53-2, M88, M88-2, F100, F119, EJ200, F414, F110, F136 and other models Military/civil aviation engines; the application of rotating parts is still in the development and test stage. Domestic basic research started relatively slowly, and there is a huge gap with foreign engineering application research, but it has also achieved results. In January 2022, the aero-engine integral turbine disk made by Northwestern Polytechnical University using domestic new ceramic matrix composite materials successfully completed the first flight test verification. This is also the first aerial flight test of the domestic ceramic matrix composite rotor assembly platform. It is beneficial to promote the large-scale application of ceramic matrix composite parts on UAVs/targets.

SiC fiber has developed into one of the most important high temperature absorbing materials through electromagnetic modification.

With the rapid development of modern radio technology and radar detection systems, stealth technology, as an effective means to improve the survival and penetration of weapon systems, especially the ability to strike in depth, has become a hot spot for military powers to compete for high-tech armaments. The use of stealth material technology is currently the most effective and feasible means of radar stealth. For stealth materials used in special environments, in addition to reducing basic conditions such as detectability, the materials are also required to have good thermal stability and corrosion resistance. For example, the engine room nozzles, wing edges and most conical caps of high-speed flying stealth fighters will face the test of high temperature oxidation and repeated high and low temperature impacts. SiC/SiC not only has excellent mechanical properties, anti-oxidation performance and longer high temperature service life, but also has good wave absorption performance, which meets the requirements of high temperature parts of weapons and equipment such as the surface of hypersonic aircraft, engine tail nozzle, and cruise missile rising end. Stealth requirements, broad application prospects.

SiC material has a small neutron absorption cross section and is suitable for nuclear reactors

With the increasing attention to reactor safety issues, almost all the zirconium alloy combustion elements used in commercial water reactor nuclear power plants have been reconsidered. The fuel element is the core component of the nuclear reactor, and its performance index directly affects the safety and economy of the reactor. SiC has excellent properties such as high temperature strength, high hardness, good wear resistance, good thermal shock resistance, high thermal conductivity, strong oxidation resistance and chemical corrosion resistance, and its small neutron absorption cross section, low inherent The activity and decay heat make it suitable for the field of nuclear reactors, and have good application prospects in light water reactors, molten salt reactors and gas-cooled fast reactors.

At present, my country has formed a number of silicon carbide fiber industry clusters with the National Defense University, Northwestern Polytechnical University, and Xiamen University as the R&D centers. The industrialization of silicon carbide fiber technology of National Defense Science and Technology University is carried out in Suzhou, Ningbo and other places. Xiamen University cooperates with local enterprises in Fujian, and has obvious competitive advantages.

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