Erosion behavior of a large number of gas-turbine grade ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) was assessed using fine to medium grain garnet erodents at velocities of 200 and 300 m/s at ambient temperature. The CMCs used in the current work were comprised of nine different SiC/SiCs, one SiC/C, one C/SiC, one SiC/MAS, and one oxide/oxide. Erosion damage was quantified with respect to erosion rate and the damage morphology was assessed via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy in conjunction with three-dimensional (3D) image mapping. The CMCs response to erosion appeared to be very complicated due to their architectural complexity, multiple material constituents, and presence of pores. Effects of architecture, material constituents, density, matrix hardness, and elastic modulus of the CMCs were taken into account and correlated to overall erosion behavior. The erosion of monolithic ceramics such as silicon carbide and silicon nitrides was also examined to gain a better understanding of the governing damage mechanisms for the CMC material systems used in this work.

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