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Military Seeks Fake Diamonds For Protection

Military Seeks Fake Diamonds For Protection

A fake diamond coating could provide complete protection for an military aircraft engines when deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan

Engineers at Ohio State University are using zirconium dioxide otherwise known as fake/synthetic diamonds, to protect jet engines from high temperature corrosion.

Zirconium Dioxide To Protect Aircraft

Zirconium Dioxide To Protect Aircraft

The zirconium dioxide coating has proved to comprise of better protective properties than standard ceramic coating that is currently applied to the fan blades of modern aircraft engines.

The ceramic coating provides adequate protection but when it comes to grains of sand, it becomes a different matter.

The ceramic coating expands with the hot engine blades offering continual protection. But grains of sand that may be sucked up into the engine melt in these high temperatures to form glass.

The glass can break down the ceramic coating when hot and when cooled, it forms an inelastic layer on top of the protective coating. The next time the engine gets hot, the new glass layer restricts the ceramic layer from expanding causing the protective coating to crack and break off.

This process greatly reduces the life expectancy of the engine.

Zirconium on the other hand is able to force the glass to bond with the other elements in the protective coating.

This basically turns the glass layer into an additional layer of protective ceramic every time sand melts in the engine.

Zirconium Dioxide Fake Diamonds

Zirconium Dioxide Fake Diamonds

The picture above shows the ceramic coating which is easily damaged on the left, and the zirconium coating on the left which provides protection from the molten glass.

Unfortunately the zirconium application doesn’t come cheap and is yet to be tested on more complex shapes.

However it does promise a great solution for efficiency not just in aircraft but possibly for automobiles too.


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