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Showing results for tags 'materials science'.
At the behest of @Lord_James, this shall be the thread for general discussion of conventional passive metallic armor. Whether it's steel, titanium, magnesium, exotic laminates of all three, this is the thread for it. In answer to your earlier question, Lord_James, relatively small amounts of boron, in steels that have the appropriate levels of carbon, form intergranular barriers that dramatically slow the diffusion of carbon out of the austenite crystals during quenching. Long story short, this means that the depth of material that can be effectively hardened is much greater.
This is a big deal. Naturally, the journalists get the details wrong. But what can you expect; they're journalists and they don't know anything. The air that is used to circulate inside turbine blades and cool them does cause a loss to engine efficiency, but this is trivially small. The big advantage is that the turbine inlet temperature (TIT) can be cranked up, and that allows better cycle efficiency. The article correctly notes that this sort of material would have applications in powers station turbines as well, but if the cost can be brought down, the long-term implications are even greater than that. In the 1970s, Toyota and a few other companies experimented with adiabatic, or thermally insulated piston engines. They never quite got it to work, and the end of the 1970s oil crisis pretty well killed off development. These CMCs could be the advance that makes the idea finally work. Adabatic piston engines would be absurdly more efficient than current models, and would require much less cooling.