Ceramic materials are characterized by strength and temperature tolerance very well, but over time they may be subject to cracks, damage and cracking, and in this regard, researchers at Texas A&M University discovered a mechanism for self-repair and spontaneous healing of cracks that was previously unknown in a particular type of Ceramics, according to the University of Texas website.
The university clarifies – according to what was reported by the “Al Arabiya” website – that when exposed to mechanical stress, ceramics are subject to cracking, which quickly leads to clear fragmentation or fractures in parts or the entire ceramic material, so some ceramic materials with the ability to heal and treat cracks were manufactured properly. Autogenous and at room temperature, which means that it does not need to be treated with chemical reactions under high temperatures in special ovens.
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The researchers concluded that a certain type of ceramic, which is chromium aluminum carbide،, can slow the spread of cracks, and thus cure spontaneously at room temperature, these ceramics are known as MAXIt is made up of alternating layers of materials, giving the ceramic structure the ability to heal cracks automatically.
The mechanism underlying this type of ceramic works geologically, when a crack begins in the ceramic material, defects called mesh strips are formed between the different layers, and then the crystals rotate in random bands with the application of pressure, which prevents the cracks from spreading to a wider area. Important is that these round crystals also treat cracks so effectively that they are almost undetectable once the pressure on the ceramic material is relieved..
Hemant Rathod, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and lead author of the study, said: “What’s really exciting is that the self-healing mechanism can occur repeatedly to seal newly formed cracks, delaying damage to the ceramic material.”
According to the researchers, this type of self-repairing ceramic can be particularly useful for repairing cracks that form in materials subjected to extreme stress conditions, such as jet engines, hypersonic vehicles and nuclear reactors. MAX, but can apply to other materials with similar layered structure.