SiC-Matrix Composites: Nonbrittle Ceramics for Thermo-Structural Application



C/SiC and SiC/SiC composites are tough ceramics when the fiber–matrix bonding is properly optimized, usually through a thin layer of an interfacial material referred to as the interphase. These composites can be fabricated by a variety of techniques that are briefly described and compared. The design of the interphase, matrix, and coating at the nanometer scale, in order to promote microcrack deflection and to enhance the oxidation resistance is discussed. Selected properties of the composites are presented and discussed. Examples of application in engines, heat shields, braking systems, and high-temperature nuclear reactors are shown to illustrate the potential of these materials and the key points that still require research and development.