MATECH announces development of ultra-high-density carbon-carbon composites

MATECH announces the development of ultra-high density (UHD) carbon-carbon composites. This groundbreaking new technology will make carbon-carbon composites 20 times more resistant to ablation and oxidation than today's "off-the-shelf" carbon-carbon composites. Applications include nose tip and leading edge components requiring hypersonic missile applications and ballistic re-entry.

The company will make the first official public announcement of this patent-pending development on January 23, 2024, at the 47th Annual Composites, Materials and Structures (CMS) Conference in St. Augustine, Florida. MATECH’s Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST) densified carbon-carbon composites achieve unprecedented ultra-high densities.

Through MATECH's new process, it has been proven that the packing density of carbon-carbon composite materials exceeds 2.20g/cm3, which is close to the absolute theoretical density of graphite (2.26g/cm3). Furthermore, substantial fiber pullout upon breakage has been documented. FAST carbon-carbon composites can be easily expanded to nose tip and leading edge components to meet demanding hypersonic missile applications. Additionally, the process is safe, cheap, and relatively easy. This patent-pending technology extends MATECH’s previous work in the rapid densification of SiC/SiC and C/SiC CMCs (U.S. Patents 10,464,849 and 10,774,007).


High-density carbon-to-carbon (HDCC) composites were first used in ballistic reentry nose tips in the 1960s and 1970s. Using the "hot isostatic pressure impregnation carbonization" (HIPIC) process, high-density carbon-carbon (HDCC) replaces dense monolithic graphite. Unfortunately, HIPIC is dangerous, expensive, and difficult. Nonetheless, the bulk density of conventional production is 1.95g/cc. So far, no other process can achieve the significantly higher densities of carbon-carbon composites.

MATECH was founded in 1989 by Dr. Edward JA Pope. MATECH is recognized for world-class research and development in glass, ceramics and high-temperature ceramic composites. Dr. Pope is an internationally recognized leader in high-temperature and ultra-high-temperature (UHT) materials. Dr. Pope also holds 19 U.S. patents, with more pending.

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