In March 2004, an elderly man with short hair and simple clothes, under the public’s attention, presided over the publication of “Application Technology of High Temperature and Long Life Antioxidant Ceramic Matrix Composites”, which won the first prize of the National Technological Invention Award. This is a major breakthrough after China has been vacant for six consecutive years in the awards at this level. This news has caused a sensation at home and abroad.
New Material Intelligence NMT | Ceramic Matrix Composites Are Performing a Variety Show
The old man who has won the prestigious award regards the Chinese aviation dream as her own responsibility. She adheres to her original intention and is strict with herself. She has co-authored two monographs in the field of aerospace materials, authorized more than 50 national invention patents, and published more than 400 papers included in SCI and EI. Therefore, she is honored as the “female academician” Zhang Litong.
So far, China has become the second country to independently master the manufacturing technology and equipment of chemical vapor deposition silicon carbide ceramic matrix composites after France.
This award also confirms the fact that in the 21st century, the application and extension of ceramic matrix composites in China is an inevitable trend.
It has a broad application prospect in the field of high-energy braking such as automobiles, high-speed trains, aircraft and so on.
Taking the automobile industry as an example, ceramic matrix composites are mainly used to improve the thermal efficiency of engines, automobile braking and spraying.
In the working cycle of the automobile engine, most of the combustion energy is lost in the heat transfer process. The thermal efficiency of the diesel engine is between 32% and 34%, which is much higher than that of the gasoline engine, but 60% of the heat is still dissipated. Using ceramic matrix composite material as heat insulation material or heat insulation coating to cover the engine for heat insulation treatment can effectively reduce heat loss. By using ceramic matrix material to heat insulation treatment of the engine, the thermal efficiency can be increased by 10% – 15%, and its density is small, which effectively reduces the weight of the whole vehicle and greatly improves the performance of the vehicle.
As a new type of brake material, ceramic matrix composites have the characteristics of stable friction coefficient, small friction loss, large braking range and long service life compared with traditional materials. Among them, C/SiC material has better performance and stronger adaptability to the environment than the brake material made of C/C. As a brake material, ceramic matrix composites greatly improve the use temperature, reduce the volume of the brake system, and improve the safety of the whole vehicle. As a new generation of brake materials, ceramic matrix composites have broad prospects.
Nowadays, ceramic matrix composites are also known as the core material technology for the development of the world’s aerospace industry. When applied to the hot end parts of aerospace, such materials have absolute advantages in high temperature resistance. Therefore, many countries have taken ceramic matrix composites as new strategic materials.
Since the first ceramic matrix composite patent was obtained in 1986, GE has invested nearly US $1 billion in more than 30 years to study how to use this material for mass production within a controllable cost range. This enterprise believes that the parts that can use ceramic matrix composites in aero-engine include guide blades, fairing, rotor blades, tail nozzle blades, etc.
To seize 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 Materials Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Xi’an Xinyao”) won the first place in the national innovation and entrepreneurship competition of the new material group industry finals.
Carbon ceramic brake disc is a new type of brake material developed in recent years, which has the advantages of low density, high temperature resistance, high friction performance and stability. It is worth mentioning that the cost of carbon ceramic brake disc produced by Xi’an Xinyao is only 1/3 of that of similar foreign products.
The technical supporters of Xi’an Xinyao are Cheng Laifei and his teacher, Academician Zhang Litong.
Coincidentally, Dow Technology, a leading ceramic composite material enterprise established in 2007, has applied for 111 national patents in the ceramic material business sector of the company as of December 31, 2021, and has been granted 85 patents, including 76 invention patents. Won 2 second prizes of provincial science and technology awards, 5 municipal science and technology awards, participated in the formulation of 1 industrial standard, 2 national standards, and 3 international advanced achievements appraisal.
So as to further expand its influence in the field of ceramic materials.
It is also from this moment that China has opened a new chapter of ceramic matrix composites.
Since the “13th Five-Year Plan” issued by the State Council in 2016, composite materials have been included in the national primary development strategy as a kind of new materials. A series of policies issued later are intended to help the new material industry and composite industry develop faster and better, including clarifying the development focus and development areas of new materials and composite materials.
According to the statistics of the ceramic matrix composite market, the global ceramic matrix composite market scale has exceeded 50 billion yuan in 2020. The world famous ceramic matrix composite enterprises mainly include Rolls-Royce, Sigri Carbon, General Electric, United Technologies, 3M, etc. In the future, with the continuous development of various industries around the world, the demand for ceramic matrix composites will drive the market scale of ceramic matrix composites industry to maintain a rapid growth rate of more than 10%. It is estimated that the global market scale of ceramic matrix composites industry 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 due to the 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 continuous development of the local aerospace and defense industries. North America has the largest market share in the global ceramic matrix composite market. Most of the participants in the ceramic matrix composite market come from North America. In addition, Boeing, Bombardier, Airbus Group, Lockheed Martin and other top aerospace companies also have major businesses in North America, The demand for ceramic matrix composites in North America has been further increased.
In recent years, the demand for fuel-efficient aircraft and light-duty 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.
The technical barrier of ceramic matrix composites is high, and overseas countries impose technical blockade on China and restrict the export of products. At present, there are very few enterprises in China that have the ability to research and develop ceramic matrix composites and produce ceramic matrix composites on a large scale. 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 will always be ups and downs along the way.
However, it is believed that under the support of national policy initiatives and the demand for the development of aerospace, national defense, automobile and other industries, the demand for ceramic matrix composites will also grow rapidly, which will also attract more capital and enterprises to enter the field of ceramic matrix composites, and we will usher in an era of rapid development of ceramic matrix composites industry. Is this exactly what the capital is looking forward to one day?