Abstract

Initial mechanical behavior of Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) is linear until the proportional limit. This initial behavior is characterized by linear elastic properties, which are anisotropic due to the orientation and arrangement of fibers in the matrix. The linear elastic properties are needed during various phases of analysis and design of CMC components. CMCs are typically made with ceramic unidirectional or woven fiber preforms embedded in a ceramic matrix formed via various processing routes. The matrix processing of interest in this work is that formed via Polymer Impregnation and Pyrolysis (PIP). As this process involves pyrolysis process to convert a pre-ceramic polymer into ceramic, considerable volume shrinkage occurs in the material. This volume shrinkage leads to significant defects in the final material in the forms of porosity of various size, shape, and volume fraction. These defect structures can have a significant impact on the elastic and damage response of the material. In this paper, we develop a new micromechanics modeling framework to study the effects of processing-induced defects on linear elastic response of a PIP-derived CMC. A combination of analytical and computational micromechanics approaches is used to derive the overall elastic tensor of the CMC as a function of the underlying constituents and/or defect structures. It is shown that the volume fraction and aspect ratio of porosity at various length-scales plays an important role in accurate prediction of the elastic tensor. Specifically, it is shown that the through-thickness elastic tensor components cannot be predicted accurately using the micromechanics models unless the effects of defects are considered.

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