TSU scientists are creating ceramic armor

Tomsk State University scientists have developed a specialized coating that can reduce the weight of aircraft by 30 percent or more. The technology created at TSU will allow reducing the cost of launching and operating aerospace equipment.

The lighter an aircraft or a satellite, the more fuel savings, so the task of reducing weight is one of the most important in the aerospace industry. The team of chemists under the guidance of Anatoly Mamaev, Professor at the Faculty of Chemistry, suggested using magnesium alloys with a special ceramic coating for producing aircraft parts.

- Aluminum-based alloys are now commonly used. However, the density of aluminum is 2.7 kg / cubic dm and magnesium is 1.3-1.7 kg / cubic dm, that is, the weight of the second is almost half. Unfortunately, magnesium is a weak material, it does not apply by itself. But it can be used with special coatings that will provide high durability and the necessary hardness of parts from magnesium alloys, - explains Anatoly Mamaev.

The scientific group of Professor Mamayev has been engaged in creating non-metal inorganic coatings on the border of two media - metals or metal and liquid - for more than 20 years. Under the influence of a high-energy flow (plasma), chemical bonds on the boundaries break, and a new substance with unique properties is synthesized. The nanostructured coatings obtained are not metallic or polymeric ones, they are oxide, carbide, or nitride compounds. Faced with the surface of one of the media, they become a kind of armor for a metal product - they do not exfoliate and have very high deformation strength and heat resistance.

The technology created by TSU scientists allows changing the functional properties of materials and obtaining coatings with predetermined properties that can be used not only in space and aviation but also in the automotive industry and construction. High thermal diffusivity and electrical resistance make them especially valuable for electronics, and coatings with low thermal conductivity are also of interest as heat insulators. To date, the team of Anatoly Mamaev has developed more than 60 options for functional coatings and has received more than 30 Russian and 4 international patents.