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1 August 2003 Combined NDE/finite element technique to study the effects of matrix porosity on the behavior of ceramic matrix composites
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Ceramic matrix composites are being considered as candidate materials for high temperature aircraft engine components to replace the current high density metal alloys. The current Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) are engineered material composed of coated 2D woven high strength fiber tows and melt infiltrated ceramic matrix. Matrix voids are common anomalies generated during the melt infiltration process. The effects of these matrix porosities are usually associated with a reduction in the initial overall composite stiffness, and an increase in the thermal conductivity of the component. Furthermore, the role of the matrix as well as the coating is to protect the fibers from the harsh engine environment. Hence, the current design approach is to limit the design stress level of CMC components to be always below the first matrix cracking stress. In this study, the effects of matrix porosity on the initial component stiffness and the onset of matrix cracking are analyzed using a combined NDE/Finite-Element Technique. The Computed Tomography (CT) is utilized as the NDE technique to characterize the initial matrix porosity's locations and sizes in various CMC test specimens. The Finite Element is utilized to calculate the localized stress field around these pores based on the geometric modeling of the specimen's CT results, using image analysis and geometric modeling software. The same specimen was also scanned after tensile testing to a maximum nominal stress of 150 MPa to depict any growth of the previous observe voids. The post test CT scans depicted an enlargement and some coalescence of the existing voids.
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Ali Abdul-Aziz, Louis J. Ghosn, George Y. Baaklini, and Ramakrishna Bhatt "Combined NDE/finite element technique to study the effects of matrix porosity on the behavior of ceramic matrix composites", Proc. SPIE 5046, Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials and Composites II, (1 August 2003);

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