Polymer Infiltration and Pyrolysis Fabrication of SiC/SiC Composite for Nuclear Applications


Polymer Infiltration and Pyrolysis (PIP) is one of the most attractive fabrication processes for silicon carbide (SiC) composites due to shape flexibility, mass production and relatively low cost; however, the quality of material obtained by this method has been considered insufficient for use in nuclear applications due to the microstructure of the material obtained. For this study SiC fiber-resuborced SiC (SiCf/SiC) composites are prepared by a modified PIP process named Dry Press Infiltration and Pyrolysis (DPIP). This process combines a well-established ceramic greenbody forming technique, dry pressing, with the PIP process. A woven SiC fiber mat is subiltrated with a slurry of preceramic polymer and ß-SiC micro particles, dry pressed and cured to a greenbody state. The material is then subjected to a repeated cycle of pyrolization and resubiltration with a final heat treatment to achieve a dense crystalline matrix material. The microstructure is analyzed and the thermo-mechanical properties are investigated from room to high temperature. The matrix subiltration and densification indicates a capacity to produce dense, stoichiometric crystalline SiC. The material shows good damage tolerance due to crack deviation, fiber pull-out and there is no degradation up to 1500 ⁰C.

Meeting Name

Composites and Advanced Materials Expo: Combined Strength. Unsurpassed Innovation (2014: Oct. 13-16, Orlando, FL)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Third Department

Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Keywords and Phrases

Crystalline materials; Mechanical properties; Microstructure; Polymers; Pressing (forming); Strength of materials; Crystalline matrices; Fabrication process; Final heat treatments; Nuclear application; Polymer subiltration and pyrolysis; Quality of materials; Silicon carbides (SiC); Thermomechanical properties

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2014 The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2014

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