Materials #Scientists are the #Alchemists of the 21st century

Man looks through slats in machinery

Materials #Scientists are the #Alchemists of the 21st century, creating miraculous compounds that appear to achieve the impossible. The #Aerospace industry is pushing these to their limits, as #NeilGlover, chief of materials – capability acquisition at #RollsRoyce, explains.

The heart of a #Jet engine is like a blast furnace and the hotter it is, the more efficient the engine. So designers face a constant battle to create components that can withstand ever higher temperatures.

Now we’re exploring entirely new materials. #Nickel #Alloys are nearing the top of their performance curve. So we’re looking at #Ceramic matrix composites made of #Silicon #Carbides. These are lighter and can tolerate higher temperatures, but they’re not as ductile or damage-tolerant as metal so they pose a fascinating new set of challenges.

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