For enhanced aerodynamic performance. Materials for sharp leading edges can be reusable but need different properties because of geometry and very high temperatures. Require materials with significantly higher temperature capabilities, but for short duration. Current shuttle RCC leading edge materials: T approx. 1650 C. Materials for vehicles with sharp leading edges: T>2000 C. >% Figure depicts: High Temperature at Tip and Steep Temperature Gradient. Passive cooling is simplest option to manage the intense heating on sharp leading edges.
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