Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are a promising subclass of composite materials suitable for high temperature applications. CMCs exhibit multiple damage mechanisms such as matrix cracking, interphase debonding, fiber sliding, fiber pullout, delaminations etc. Additionally, process induced defects such as matrix porosity exists at multiple length scales and has a considerable influence on the mechanical and failure behavior of CMCs. In the current work, the effect of intra-tow porosity, which exist at the micro-scale, on the mechanical behavior of CMCs has been investigated by numerical homogenization.
Micro-scale response of 3 phase CMCs with intra tow pores has been obtained by finite element analysis based homogenization. Pores have been modeled as non-intersecting ellipsoids in a square unit cell representative of matrix material. The effective mechanical properties of porous matrix at the micro scale has been obtained from numerical homogenization, which are in good agreement with Mori-Tanaka mean field theory. The obtained matrix elastic properties have then been included in a three phase unit cell consisting of fiber, interphase and matrix representative of CMC microstructure. The effect of porosity volume fraction and aspect ratio on the effective elastic properties of the composite have been reported. Homogenization approach to model statistical distribution of pore size obtained from X-ray computed tomography of CMC minicomposite has been proposed.