The Army Research Laboratory has conducted research on nanotechnology that indicate nanomaterials could potentially work to advance engine technology.
The study led by Kristopher Darling, a materials scientist with ARL’s lightweight and specialty metals branch, could drive the discovery of new materials applications for nanotechnology such as for turbine engines, the U.S. Army said Tuesday.
Darling and his team were able to stabilize a copper alloy microstructure and found that it could withstand extremely high temperatures.
“There is a six to eight orders of magnitude increase in creep response relative to what conventional nanocrystal materials can do,” he said, referring to the usual deforming effects of elevated temperatures on materials.
“[What] it demonstrates is that these types of microstructures are capable of achieving properties that are extraordinarily high in comparison to what you would normally see in a conventional type of material.”
The team also worked with the University of North Texas and Arizona State University to confirm the results of the study, the Army said.
The jet turbine engines that the military uses require both high-structural strength and high thermal stability, the service branch added.
It noted that the research team seeks to recreate the combination of properties using other materials such as nickel, cobalt and tantalum.