In March 2004, an elderly person with short hair and plain clothes hosted and published the “Application Technology of High Temperature and Long Life Antioxidant Ceramic Matrix Composites” under the spotlight, winning the first prize of the National Technological Invention Award This is a major breakthrough in China after six consecutive years of vacancies in this level of awards. The news caused a sensation at home and abroad. New Materials Intelligent NMT | Ceramic Matrix Composites Are Performing Variety Shows
This award-winning old man takes realizing the Chinese aviation dream as his own responsibility. She sticks to her original intention and is strict with herself. He has jointly authored two monographs in the field of aerospace materials, authorized more than 50 national invention patents, and published over 400 papers included in SCI and EI. Therefore, she is known as “female academician” Zhang Litong.
So far, China has become the second country after France to independently master the manufacturing technology and equipment of chemical vapor deposition silicon carbide ceramic matrix composites.
This award also confirms the fact that the application and promotion of ceramic matrix composites in China is an inevitable trend in the 21st century.
It has broad application prospects in high energy braking fields such as automobiles, high-speed railways, and airplanes.
Taking the automotive industry as an example, ceramic matrix composites are mainly used to improve the thermal efficiency of engines, automotive braking, and spraying.
During the working cycle of a car engine, most of the combustion energy is lost during the heat transfer process. The thermal efficiency of diesel engines is between 32% and 34%, much higher than that of gasoline engines, but 60% of the heat is still dissipated. Using ceramic matrix composites as thermal insulation materials or thermal insulation coatings to cover the engine for thermal insulation can effectively reduce heat loss. Using ceramic based materials to insulate the engine can increase thermal efficiency by 10% to 15%, and has a low density, effectively reducing vehicle weight and greatly improving vehicle performance.
As a new type of braking material, ceramic matrix composites have the characteristics of stable friction coefficient, small friction loss, large braking range, and long service life compared to traditional materials. Among them, C/SiC materials have better performance and stronger environmental adaptability than brake materials made of C/C. As a braking material, ceramic matrix composites greatly increase the use temperature, reduce the volume of the braking system, and improve the safety of the entire vehicle. Ceramic matrix composites have broad application prospects as a new generation of brake materials.
Nowadays, ceramic matrix composites are also known as the core material technology for the development of the world’s aerospace industry. When applied to aerospace hot end components, such materials have an absolute advantage in high temperature resistance. Therefore, many countries regard ceramic matrix composites as new strategic materials.
Since obtaining the first ceramic matrix composite patent in 1986, GE has invested nearly $1 billion in more than 30 years to research how to use this material for mass production within a controllable cost range. The enterprise believes that ceramic matrix composite materials can be used in components of aircraft engines, including guide vanes, fairing, rotor blades, tail nozzle blades, and so on.
Seizing the commanding heights of science and technology, China is not willing to lag behind. In 2014, the carbon ceramic brake disc project of Xi’an Xinyao Ceramic Composite Material Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Xi’an Xinyao”) won the first place in the National New Materials Group Industry Finals Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.
Carbon ceramic brake discs are a new type of brake material developed in recent years, which have the advantages of low density, high temperature resistance, high friction performance, and good stability. It is worth mentioning that the cost of carbon ceramic brake discs produced by Xi’an Xinyao is only 1/3 of that of similar foreign products.
Xi’an Xinyao’s technical supporters are Cheng Laifei and his teacher, Academician Zhang Litong.
Coincidentally, Dow Technology, a leading ceramic composite material company established in 2007, has applied for 111 national patents in its ceramic material business segment as of December 31, 2021, and has received 85 authorized patents, including 76 invention patents. He has won two second prizes in provincial science and technology awards, five municipal science and technology awards, participated in the formulation of one industry standard, two national standards, and three international advanced achievement appraisals.
Thereby further expanding its influence in the field of ceramic materials.
It is also from this moment that China has opened a new chapter in ceramic matrix composites.
Since the State Council issued the “13th Five Year Plan” in 2016, composite materials have been included in the national key development strategy as a new material. The subsequent series of policies aimed at helping the new material and composite industries develop faster and better, including clarifying the development priorities and areas of new materials and composite materials.
According to the ceramic matrix composite market statistics, the global ceramic matrix composite market scale in 2020 has exceeded 50 billion yuan. The world famous ceramic matrix composite enterprises mainly include Rolls-Royce, Segri Carbon, General Electric, United Technologies, 3M, and Future. With the continuous development of various industries around the world, the demand for ceramic matrix composite materials will drive the market scale of the ceramic matrix composite industry to maintain a rapid growth of more than 10%. It is estimated that the global ceramic matrix composite industry market size will exceed 160 billion yuan in 2026.
From the perspective of the global market distribution of ceramic matrix composites, the demand for ceramic matrix composites in developed markets such as North America and Europe is very high, as there are a large number of well-known suppliers and end users in the automotive and aerospace fields in North America and Europe.
Among them, North America is driven by the sustained development of the local aerospace and defense industries. North America holds the largest market share in the global ceramic matrix composite market. The market participants in ceramic matrix composites are mostly from North America. In addition, top aerospace companies such as Boeing, Bombardier, Airbus Group, and Lockheed Martin also have important businesses in North America, where the demand for ceramic matrix composites has further increased.
In recent years, the demand for fuel efficient aircraft and light fuel efficient vehicles in the Asia Pacific region, especially in China, has continued to grow, and the demand for ceramic matrix composites in the Asia Pacific region has shown a new trend of rapid growth.
Due to the high technical barriers to ceramic matrix composites, overseas countries have imposed technical blockades on China and restricted product exports. At present, there are very few enterprises in China that have the ability to develop and scale production of ceramic matrix composites. Existing enterprises also face the shortage of limited product performance.
The rise of every industry will be like climbing. From the bottom to the top, there are always ups and downs along the way.
However, it is believed that with the support of national policies and measures and the development needs of industries such as aerospace, national defense, and automobile, the demand for ceramic based composite materials will also grow rapidly, which will also attract more capital and enterprises to settle in. Entering the field of ceramic matrix composites, we will usher in an era of rapid development of the ceramic matrix composite industry. Is this exactly the day the capital is looking forward to?