Nasa invents NEW “supermetal” that survives temperatures of 2,000 F for future ultralight aircraft

NASA has invented a new super material that can withstand extreme conditions.

The metal alloy was produced using a 3D printing process and could revolutionize aerospace.


Credit: The Sun

It can withstand temperatures in excess of 1,090°C (2,000°F) and is more malleable than existing advanced alloys.

The material, dubbed GRX-810, can also survive more than 1,000 times longer than other alloys, Nasa said in a statement last week.

“These new alloys can be used to build aerospace parts for high-temperature applications, such as those used in airplanes and rocket engines,” Nasa said.

GRX-810 is an oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloy, meaning it has chemical compounds called oxides embedded in its surface.

ODS alloys can withstand more severe conditions before reaching their breaking point.

This makes them perfect for the brutal environments in and around airplanes and jet engines.

To figure out the arrangement that would make the material as durable as possible, engineers turned to computer models.

They used the models to simulate the alloy’s thermodynamic performance and then 3D printed them.

After around 30 simulations, they used a trial-and-error process to arrive at the optimal design, which is intended to increase efficiency.

Nasa said aerospace materials used to take years to design and manufacture, but now, thanks to computer modeling, they can take weeks.

At temperatures of 2,000 F, GRX-810 is twice as tough as other advanced alloys.

It also offers three and a half times the flexibility without cracking when flexed and more than 1,000 times the durability under load.

According to Nasa, the material opens up new possibilities in aircraft design and could enable lighter components.

Jet engines built from the material would lose less fuel and aircraft would have lower operating and maintenance costs.

“These alloys have major implications for the future of sustainable flight,” NASA said.

“When the alloy is used in a jet engine, for example, the higher temperature and increased durability result in better fuel economy and lower operating and maintenance costs.

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“This alloy also offers engine part designers new flexibilities such as lighter materials coupled with tremendous performance improvements.

“Designers can now consider trade-offs they couldn’t before without sacrificing performance.”

A turbine engine combustor 3D printed at NASA's Glenn Research Center


A turbine engine combustor 3D printed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
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