Half as light as the Torch for the Tokyo Olympics

2022-05-01 0 By

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Bach in the torch relay on February 4, xinhua/photo Top news · Henan Business Daily reporter Guo Dingran February 4 evening, the Attention of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in the National Stadium “Bird’s Nest” grand opening.The torch for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games is carried by about 1,200 torchbearers to light the main torch tower at the National Stadium.To highlight the green theme, the Beijing Games are using hydrogen as fuel, unlike previous Games, which used gases such as liquefied natural gas or propane heavily.That’s why the torch is made of heat-resistant composite materials.And behind it, there is the technical support of a henan local enterprise.Why does the Olympic torch need heat-resistant composite materials?The torch of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games is made of carbon fiber composite materials. The carbon fiber shell of the torch and its high-temperature components of composite materials are provided by gongyi Fanrui Yihui Composite Materials Co., LTD. (hereinafter referred to as “Fanrui Yihui”), a local enterprise in Henan province.Different from previous Olympic Games, which used liquefied natural gas or propane as the fuel for the torch, the Beijing Winter Olympic Games will use hydrogen energy as the fuel to highlight the theme of green environmental protection, which reflects the principle of green, low-carbon and sustainable development, henan Business Daily learned.”The high combustion temperature of hydrogen requires the heating part of the torch to withstand the high temperature of more than 800℃ for a long time, and to keep the torch skin does not fall off or fade.”Dr. Wu Heng, head of the project at Fanrui Yihui, told the top news henan Business Daily that it is difficult for conventional alloy materials to achieve such characteristics.Wu heng said that they have adopted since the research of carbon fiber reinforced ceramic matrix composites (hereinafter referred to as the “carbon ceramic”), through the application of carbon fiber composites in extreme conditions the bottleneck, realize the torch shell in higher than 800 ℃ of hydrogen combustion environment to normal use, and cracked the torch shell in the process of preparing 1000 ℃ high temperature foaming, cracking and other problems.”On September 23, the sample passed the test acceptance once and for all.”Wu Heng introduced, and then they entered the tense production link, in a short two-month delivery cycle successfully completed the task.In order to ensure the reliability of the torch, a series of tests such as running test, windproof test and underwater test were carried out on the samples.How is this high-tech material made?Where else can it be applied?Not only high temperature resistant, carbon ceramic material also has the characteristics of lightweight.”The heat resistant material component we used for the torch weighs only about 200 grams.”Because of the new composite material, the overall weight of the torch is half that of the previous Tokyo Olympic torch.Top news – Henan Business Daily reporter learned that in fact, the production process of carbon pottery is quite similar to firing porcelain.”We need to dip the carbon fiber skeleton in a ceramic slurry before firing it.”Heng says the process is repeated to prevent gaps in the material.In fact, this carbon ceramic product is mainly used in liquid rocket engine thrust chamber, solid rocket engine diversion tube and integral combustion chamber, missile wing, inlet, flap, scour plate and other fields.”A small torch contains many advanced technologies, which can also be said to be the crystallization of China’s cutting-edge space science and technology.”The high-pressure hydrogen fuel storage tank inside the torch, for example, is a prototype of the technology that could be used in future hydrogen-fueled clean energy rockets, Wu said.