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"We have created a liquid that remains a liquid at room temperature and has a longer shelf life than other SiBNC polymers," Singh said. "But when you heat our polymer, it undergoes a liquid to solid transition. This transparent liquid polymer can transform into a very black, glasslike ceramic."
Ceramics are valuable because they withstand extreme temperatures and are used for a variety of materials, including spark plugs, jet engines, high-temperature furnaces or even space exploration materials.
Using five ingredients – silicon, boron, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen – [the researchers have] created a liquid polymer that can transform into a ceramic with valuable thermal, optical and electronic properties. The waterlike polymer, which becomes a ceramic when heated, also can be mass-produced.
• The ceramic derived from this polymer can survive extreme temperatures as high as approximately 1,700 degrees Celsius. Yet the ceramic has a mass density three to six times lower than that of other ultrahigh-temperature ceramics, such as zirconium boride and hafnium carbide.
• The polymer can make ceramic fibers. If the polymer is heated to approximately 50 to 100 degrees Celsius, it becomes a gel similar to syrup or honey. During this gel state, the polymer can be pulled into strings or fibers to create ceramic textiles or ceramic mesh.
• The liquid polymer has processing flexibility. It can be poured into molds and heated to accurately make complex ceramic shapes.
• Because the polymer is a liquid, it is sprayable or can be used as a paint to make ceramic coatings. The ceramic can protect materials underneath or can create more efficient machinery that works in high-temperature environments, such as steam turbines or jet engine blades. The polymer also may be used for 3-D printing of ceramic parts using a benchtop SLA printer.
• When combined with carbon nanotubes, the polymer has even more applications. It can create a black material that can absorb all light -- even ultraviolet and infrared light -- without being damaged. The combined nanomaterial can withstand extreme heat of 15,000 watts per square centimeter, which is about 10 times more heat than a rocket nozzle.
• The polymer could be used to produce ceramic with tunable electrical conductivity ranging from insulator or semiconductor.
• The presence of silicon and graphenelike carbon in the ceramic can improve electrodes for lithium-ion batteries.
The silicon in the ceramic bonds to nitrogen and carbon but not boron; boron bonds to nitrogen but not carbon; and carbon bonds to another carbon to form graphenelike strings.
Technical ceramics tend to be excellent electric insulators (high dielectric strength). They are especially useful in high-temperature applications where other materials’ mechanical & thermal properties tend to degrade. Some ceramics have low electrical loss & high dielectric permittivity; these are typically used in electronic applications like capacitors and resonators. Additionally, the ability to combine an insulator with a structural component has lead to many product innovations.
9. The structure of claim 6, wherein said layer is resistant to: oxidation in flowing air at a temperature of up to about 1000.degree. C.; or laser irradiation up to about 15 kWcm.sup.-2 at a wavelength of about 10.6 .mu.m, for about 10 seconds without burning, delamination, or deformation of said layer.
Now we can think of using ceramics where you could never even imagine.
Electric batteries are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy stored in electricity. They consist of one or several electrochemical cells, and each cell is made up of one positive (cathode) electrode and one negative (anode) electrode, separated by an electrolyte which allows the ions to move between the electrodes. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are the main electrochemical storage systems in electronic devices and the area of transportation. "What we have patented are new ceramic electrodes that are much safer and can work in a wider temperature interval," explained Professor Alejandro Várez
It is a method of making ceramic sheets by way of a thermoplastic extrusion mold.
In the sol-gel process, a solution of an organometallic compound is hydrolyzed to produce a "sol," a colloidal suspension of a solid in a liquid. Typically the solution is a metal alkoxide such as tetramethoxysilane in an alcohol solvent. The sol forms when the individual formula units polymerize (link together to form chains and networks). The sol can then be spread into a thin film, precipitated into tiny uniform spheres called microspheres, or further processed to form a gel inside a mold that will yield a final ceramic object in the desired shape. The many crosslinks between the formula units result in a ceramic that is less brittle than typical ceramics.