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Introduction

Ultra high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) are a class of refractory ceramics that offer excellent stability at temperatures exceeding 2000°C being investigated as possible thermal protection system (TPS) materials, coatings for materials subjected to high temperatures, and bulk materials for heating elements. Broadly speaking, UHTCs are borides, carbides, nitrides, and oxides of early transition metals. Current efforts have focused on heavy, early transition metal borides such as hafnium diboride (HfB2) and zirconium diboride (ZrB2); additional UHTCs under investigation for TPS applications include hafnium nitride (HfN), zirconium nitride (ZrN), titanium carbide (TiC), titanium nitride, thorium dioxide (ThO2), tantalum carbide (TaC) and their associated composites.


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