Exceptional high-temperature material and component performance are necessary to realize the benefits of operating systems at elevated temperatures. For example, improvements in gas-turbine efficiency (for power generation, marine applications, or aircraft propulsion) have been driven primarily by significant increases in gas temperatures within the engine.
Despite remarkable progress in component cooling and dramatic improvements in engine materials, current superalloys operate at 90 percent of their incipient melting temperatures in some applications. The demand for more efficient engines will require even higher operating temperatures, which will require higher component temperatures.
As operating temperatures increase, high-temperature structural applications will require new materials with improved thermomechanical and thermochemical properties. CMCs are recognized as having the potential for providing high strength, toughness, creep resistance, notch insensitivity, and environmental stability at temperatures that will meet the anticipated needs of future high-performance turbine engines and power generators.