The new heat-resistant material of scandium, aluminum, tungsten, and oxygen with zero thermal expansion does not change in volume at temperatures from 4 to 1400 Kelvin (from -269°C to 1126°C).
Scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) said their new material, the Sc 1.5 Al 0.5 W 3 O 12 orthorhombic alloy, is the most heat-resistant in the world.
Where can new material come in handy? For example, in aerospace design, where components are exposed to extreme cold in space and extreme heat during launch or landing.
The novelty will also come in handy in the development of medical implants, where the expected temperature range does not vary so much, but even a small thermal expansion can cause problems.
Scientists made the discovery by accident. After measuring the experimental material with an Echidna high-resolution powder diffractometer, the team found an incredible degree of thermal stability. Let us recall that a diffractometer is a measuring device for measuring the intensity and direction of radiation diffracted by a crystalline object. It is used to solve various problems of structural analysis.
At the molecular level, materials tend to expand because an increase in temperature leads to an increase in the length of atomic bonds between elements. Sometimes this also causes the atoms to rotate, resulting in more spacious structures that affect the overall volume.
Not with this material. It is noted that he demonstrated “only minor changes in bonds, the position of oxygen atoms and rotations of the arrangement of atoms.” The exact mechanism of such extreme thermal stability is not entirely clear, but it is possible that bond lengths, angles, and positions of oxygen atoms change in concert with each other to preserve the total volume, the scientists conclude.