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The MAX phases are a new and exciting class of carbides and nitrides that bridge the gap between properties typical of metals and ceramics, while offering fundamentally new directions in tuning the structure and properties of ceramics for emerging applications. Potential applications for the MAX phases include heating elements, gas burner nozzles in corrosive environments, high-temperature bearings, diamond/Ti3SiC2 composites for dry drilling of concrete, examples of very thin walled parts manufactured by slip casting.
MAX phases with a hexagonal layered structure are attracting increasingly scientific attention as candidate materials for diverse applications, especially in high temperature and extreme environments. They have a unique combination of metallic and ceramic properties, such as low density, low hardness, good machine ability, high strength and high Young's modulus at high temperature, high chemical resistance, excellent thermal shock resistance, and thermal and electrical conductivity.