Processing of Ceramic Foams for Thermal Protection

  • Sujith Vijayan
  • Praveen Wilson
  • Kuttan PrabhakaranEmail author
Living reference work entry


The rapid industrialization and increased space exploration activities necessitate the development of materials of low thermal conductivity capable of withstanding very high temperatures. These materials are called thermal protection materials. They are used either to protect the surrounding personals from the heat flux of high-temperature heat treatments in industries or protect the instruments and astronauts within the crew cabin of a space vehicle from the intense heat flux generated during its reentry into the atmosphere. The high-temperature ceramics such as alumina, silica, zirconia, mullite, SiC, silicon nitride, and silicon oxycarbide are capable of withstanding high temperatures. The materials of choice at extremely high temperatures (above 2000 °C) are either carbon or ultrahigh-temperature ceramics. They include borides and nitrides such as TiB2, ZrB2, HfB2, TiN, ZrN, etc. These materials in their dense state though withstand high temperatures exhibit relatively high thermal conductivity. In addition to the high-temperature capability, the thermal protection materials should be light in weight and have low thermal conductivity. The aspect of low density is utmost important in thermal protection materials used for space applications as an increase in weight increases the amount of fuel required for takeoff and subsequent reentry. The way to achieve lightweight and low thermal conductivity in ceramic materials is by making them porous. The porous ceramics with porosity greater than 70 vol% are called ceramic foams.


Ceramic foams Processing Microstructure Porosity Thermal conductivity Compressive strength 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sujith Vijayan
    • 1
  • Praveen Wilson
    • 1
  • Kuttan Prabhakaran
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryThe Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)ThiruvananthapuramIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • LM Manocha
    • 1
  1. 1.World Academy of CeramicsVallabh VidyanagarIndia

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