(Pocket-lint) - Scientists have made a breakthrough with the material, ceramic, which could mean car, jet plane and spaceship engines that are better than ever.
Ceramics are amazing, they can withstand extreme temperatures and are largely impervious to friction and scratching. This means they're the ideal material for use inside an engine where friction based wear and overheating are major issues. The problem is ceramics are difficult to make into complex shapes. Or they were.
Ceramics are currently used in high-end car brakes, for housing microelectronics and in thermal shielding tiles in spacecraft. But since they can't be manipulated easily without weakening them they've had few other applications.
Now scientists at HRL Laboratories in California have developed a way of making ceramics in a 3D printer. That means previously impossible shape manufacturing can now be achieved. Check out the video below for the science of how it's done.
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The lab is owned and funded by Boeing, DARPA and General Motors showing this breakthrough is focused on jet engines primarily.
The use of ceramics in engines should mean far less wear and a greater heat resistance. That should mean jet engines that can run at far higher efficiencies for more power and longer life spans.
Expect to see this tech advancing space travel, flight and one day even cars.