NASA Develops Unique Materials for the Next Generation of Aircraft.

This Jetoptera J-55 Unmanned Aerial System uses parts created with NASA Glenn’s silicon carbide materials.

Images and quotes courtesy NASA/Jetoptera

As NASA looks to the future of flight, the agency is investing in technologies aimed at changing the aviation industry as we know it. These developments vary from basic materials to full-scale experimental aircraft, all designed to increase efficiency and reliability, while decreasing weight and cost.

NASA engineers are developing innovative new materials that can be used to manufacture better parts for aircraft engines and related systems. One of these materials is Silicon Carbide (SiC) Fiber-Reinforced SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites (SiC/SiC CMCs). This lightweight and reusable fiber material is ideal for high-performance machinery, like aircraft engines, operating for extended periods of time in punishing conditions. SiC fibers can withstand up to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and are strong enough to last months, or even years, between maintenance cycles.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is known for its materials research and development capabilities, and it is currently working to bring this SiC fiber material to the commercial aviation market.

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