Modal Acoustic Emission Used at Elevated Temperatures to Detect Damage and Failure Location in Ceramic Matrix Composites


Ceramic matrix composites are being developed for elevated-temperature engine applications. A leading material system in this class of materials is silicon carbide (SiC) fiber-reinforced SiC matrix composites. Unfortunately, the nonoxide fibers, matrix, and interphase (boron nitride in this system) can react with oxygen or water vapor in the atmosphere, leading to strength degradation of the composite at elevated temperatures. For this study, constant-load stress-rupture tests were performed in air at temperatures ranging from 815 to 960 C until failure. From these data, predictions can be made for the useful life of such composites under similar stressed-oxidation conditions. During these experiments, the sounds of failure events (matrix cracking and fiber breaking) were monitored with a modal acoustic emission (AE) analyzer through transducers that were attached at the ends of the tensile bars. Such failure events, which are caused by applied stress and oxidation reactions, cause these composites to fail prematurely. Because of the nature of acoustic waveform propagation in thin tensile bars, the location of individual source events and the eventual failure event could be detected accurately

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This paper was published in NASA Technical Reports Server.

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