Wednesday, December 12, 2007

US Patent 7306828 - Ceramic nanocomposite thermal barrier

Ceramic have been used in thermal barriers but due to their brittle properties have limited applicability. This patent from Rice University uses fullerene or carbon nanotube materials to enhance the mechanical characteristics of ceramic thermal barriers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of protecting a surface of an object with a thermal barrier, the method comprising: providing a mixture comprising (a) a ceramic host material and (b) a nanostructured carbon material selected from the group consisting of single-wall carbon nanotubes, multi-wall carbon nanotubes, vapor grown carbon fibers, fullerene molecules, carbon fibrils, buckyonions, nested fullerenes, endohedral fullerenes, metallofullerenes, and combinations thereof; heating the mixture so as to form a ceramic nanocomposite having a nanoporous structure; and coating the surface of the object with said ceramic nanocomposite.