Chapter 38. SiC/SiC Composites for Advanced Nuclear Applications

  1. Waltraud M. Kriven and
  2. Hua-Tay Lin
  1. R. H. Jones

Published Online: 26 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470294826.ch38

27th Annual Cocoa Beach Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites: B: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 24, Issue 4

27th Annual Cocoa Beach Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites: B: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 24, Issue 4

How to Cite

Jones, R. H. (2003) SiC/SiC Composites for Advanced Nuclear Applications, in 27th Annual Cocoa Beach Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites: B: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 24, Issue 4 (eds W. M. Kriven and H.-T. Lin), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9780470294826.ch38

Author Information

  1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 MAR 2008
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470375846

Online ISBN: 9780470294826

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Keywords:

  • fibers and matrices;
  • ceramic matrix;
  • corrosion resistance;
  • silicon carbide fibers;
  • nuclear applications

Summary

Composite materials have the potential for their properties to be tailored to specific applications by engineering the combination of fibers and matrices. Ceramic matrix composites are attractive because of their excellent high-temperature properties and corrosion resistance. In particular, ceramic composites made from silicon carbide fibers and silicon carbide matrices (SiC1/SiC) are promising for nuclear applications because of the radiation resistance of the β-phase of SiC, their excellent high-temperature fracture, creep, corrosion and thermal shock resistance. The β-phase of SiC has been shown by numerous studies to have a saturation swelling value of about 0.1 to 0.2% at 800 to 1000°C. This suggests that composites of SiC/SiC have the potential for excellent radiation stability. The continuous fiber architecture, coupled with engineered interfaces between the fiber and matrix, provide excellent fracture properties and fracture toughness values on the order of 25 MPa m1/2. The strength and fracture toughness are independent of temperature up to the limit of the fiber stability. Also, these fiber/matrix microstructures impart excellent thermal shock and thermal fatigue resistance so start-up and shut-down cycles and coolant loss scenarios should not induce significant structural damage.