Tuesday, December 27, 2016
The Highest Melting Point
Hafnium carbide (HfC) is a ceramic developed specifically to withstand high temperatures. It has taken some time to determine its melting point because it's hard to generate the necessary temperatures in a laboratory. Now experiments with laser heating have shown that the melting point is 4232 ± 84 K, which is about 3959 C. (The melting point of elemental iron is 1538 C.) Compound ceramics made of Hafnium carbide and Tantalum carbide are being considered for high temperature applications like the nose cones of hypersonic aircraft.