Metal and ceramic composites materials are made from metal and ceramics. According to the base material, they can be classified into ceramic-matrix composites (CMC) and metal-matrix composites (MMC). Ceramic-matrix composites in the forms of interpenetrating microstructure can be processed by infiltrating metal into porous ceramic perform. Metal-matrix composites can be reinforced with ceramic hardened particles, which make them possible to combine the low weight of the metal with the resistance of ceramics.
Fig.1. Metal and ceramic composites
Metal ceramic composites materials have the advantages of both metals and ceramics, such as metal toughness, high thermal conductivity and good thermal stability, as well as high temperature tolerance, corrosion and wear resistance of ceramics. Metal ceramic composites will not be brittle in the condition of sudden cold or heat. In addition, coating the metal surface with a ceramic coating with good air tightness can prevent the oxidation or corrosion of metal or alloy at high temperature. Due to their extraordinary properties, metal ceramic composites materials are widely used in the shell of rocket, missile, supersonic aircraft, and flame nozzle of combustion chamber and so on.
Fig.2. Applications of metal and ceramic composites
Aerospace: During the re-entry phase of space vehicles, the heat shield system is exposed to temperatures above 1500 °C for a few minutes. Only ceramic composites materials are able to survive such conditions without significant damage.
Aircraft industry: Metal matrix composites, using magnesium, aluminum, titanium, and superalloy matrices, are being developed for application to static and rotating engine components, as well as for space applications, over a broad temperature range. Ceramic matrix composites are also being examined to increase the toughness and reliability of ceramics for application to high-temperature engine structures and components.
Gas turbine components: The use of Metal ceramic composites materials in gas turbines would permit higher turbine inlet temperatures, which would improve turbine efficiency.
Biomedical composites: Composite materials have found wide use in orthopedic applications, particularly in bone fixation plates, hip joint replacement, bone cement, and bone grafts.