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Title: Damage in woven ceramic matrix composites
Author: Ironside, K. I.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3587 032X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1996
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The mechanical behaviour of woven fabric-based continuous silicon carbide fibre reinforced Pyrex (SiC/Pyrex) and calcium alminosilicate (SiC/CAS) matrix composites under quasi-static and cyclic tensile loading has been investigated. Both a plain weave and a satin weave architecture were examined for each material type. Under quasi-static loading for all systems except the low temperature processed Pyrex system (which failed prematurely) a linear elastic region was observed up to an applied strain of 0.04-0.06%. Above this strain (the matrix microcracking threshold) a reduction in the composite modulus was seen. The reduction in composite stiffness is attributed to matrix microcracking, and the morphology of matrix microcracking was examined and quantified using an edge replication technique. In all systems the matrix microcrack density was seen to increase approximately linearly with increasing strain up to failure. The corresponding reduction in the composite modulus at failure was 40-50%. Associated with the damage there is hysteretic behaviour and an increasing residual strain. The strain to failure of the satin weave composites was higher than the plain weave composites. In the cyclic fatigue tests the number of cycles to failure decreased with increasing peak stress level. A progressive reduction in the composite modulus was seen with cycles even when the applied strain was below the matrix microcracking strain threshold. It is likely that at strains below this threshold there is non-interacting matrix microcracking which does not initially affect the composite modulus. However, on continued tensile fatigue cycling these microcracks grow through a possible sub-critical crack growth mechanism reducing the laminate modulus. A modified shear lag model was used to model the reduction in composite stiffness as a function of the measured matrix crack density. The woven composite was converted to an equivalent cross-ply sub-laminate on to which the matrix microcracks were superimposed. A model allowing for the presence of microcracks in both the matrix and transverse plies gave the best agreement between the experimental and predicted reduction in modulus.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ceramics & refractories & glasses