Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
after (right) heat treatment at 1,500 °C

 The Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG Group) is pleased to announce that it has developed a high heat-resistant ceramic matrix composite (CMC) using pitch-based carbon fibers. Providing heat resistance as high as 1,500 °C, the CMC is expected to be used mainly for space industry applications. The CMC will be exhibited at the 2024 International Space Industry Exhibition in Tokyo from February 20 to 22, 2024, and JEC World 2024 in Paris from March 5 to 7.

 Traditional CMCs are composites with ceramic base material reinforced by ceramic fibers (SiC/SiC), and because of their advantages of being very light weight yet strong, tough, and heat-resistant, they are used as materials of aircraft and automotive engine components as well as for space industry applications. The CMC developed by the MCG Group has adopted the Group’s self-manufactured pitch-based carbon fibers instead of ceramic fibers and its surface is covered with an oxygen transmission barrier layer. The result is a CMC (C/SiC) with the highest heat resistance ever, showing no degradation of strength after being exposed to 1,500 °C heat in air for one hour. This means that the CMC can withstand the heat resistance of 1,600 °C for 800 seconds, the target set by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for its Innovative Space Transportation Programs.

 The MCG Group will further advance the development of technology for improving the heat resistance with a view to such applications as heat shields of a reusable space transportation system, which is expected to be operational in the early 2030s, and components of space utilization and recovery platforms.

By daisen