Effects of Fiber Architecture on Matrix Cracking for Melt-Infiltrated SiC/SiC Composites


  • Funding for this work originally started as a NASA Glenn IRD project and was continued under NASA's ARMD Supersonics program.


The matrix cracking behavior of slurry cast melt-infiltrated SiC matrix composites consisting of Sylramic-iBN fibers with a wide variety of fiber architectures were compared. The fiber architectures included 2D woven, braided, 3D orthogonal, and angle interlock architectures. Acoustic emission was used to monitor in-plane matrix cracking during unload–reload tensile tests. Two key parameters were found to control matrix-cracking behavior: the fiber volume fraction in the loading direction and the area of the weakest portion of the structure, that is, the largest tow in the architecture perpendicular to the loading direction. Empirical models that support these results are presented and discussed.