We all know that heat causes objects to increase slightly in size, we have suffered it with doors in summer, and the roads know what that is perfectly, since the high temperatures end up creating problems in the infrastructure.
In this sector they have always been looking for materials that are resistant to temperature rise, that change in size as little as possible, and today we have great news on the subject.
Australian researchers have created a material thermally very stable, made of scandium, aluminum, tungsten and oxygen. Did not change in volume at temperatures ranging from -269 to 1126 ° C.
Scientists at the University of New South Wales say that nothing like this has ever been achieved to date. They have already named it: Orthorhombic Sc1.5Al0.5W3O12, although they will surely end up putting a friendlier one.
It could be used in aerospace design, where components are exposed to extreme cold in space and extreme heat at launch, or in medical implants, where the expected temperature range is not as varied, but where a small amount of thermal expansion can cause critical problems.
The team made the discovery more or less by accident, since they were working on the issue of batteries, but they ended up finding that this combination of elements generated an extremely stable substance with temperature.
At the molecular level, materials expand because an increase in temperature increases the length of the atomic bonds between the elements. Sometimes it also makes the atoms spin, resulting in more spacious structures that affect the overall volume. In this case, only minimal changes are created in the bonds, the position of the oxygen atoms, and the rotations. In fact, we still don’t know all the molecular details that explain this extreme thermal stability.
The problem is the price, since scandium is rarer and more expensive, but they are experimenting with other elements that could be substituted to lower the price and achieve the same stability.