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Structural and Mechanical Characterization of Hi-Nicalon Fibers
Ricardo Martínez Sánchez
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Hi-Nicalon Fibers
The need of reinforcements for structural ceramic matrix composites to be used in air at temperatures above 1000°C has encouraged great changes in small-diameter ceramic fibers since their initial development as refractory insulation [1]. A very important type of ceramic fibers for structural reinforcement are the Hi-Nicalon fibers, which are oxygen free SiC fibers that have been commercially produced by an electron beam curing process [1]. The Hi-Nicalon fiber has higher elastic modulus and thermal stability and better creep resistance than the Nicalon fiber. Hi-Nicalon fibers are also highly resistant to oxidation and chemical attack. The performance of any ceramic matrix composites is highly dependent upon the properties of the reinforcement, which make important studying the mechanical behavior of these fibers. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the tensile behavior of single Hi-Nicalon fibers at room temperature using a Universal Fiber Tester [2], equipped with a load cell of 250 g calibrated from 0 to 100 g, with a precision of 0.01 g. The specimen gauge length was 30 mm and the fiber was gripped between two sets of jaws, the strain speed used for the tests was 4.05 x 10-3 s-1. Data acquisition used a PC linked to the fiber tester via a National Instrument interface card and WinATS 6.2 software from Sysma. In order to normalize the stress, the diameter of the tested fibers was systematically measured before each test by using a Mitutoyo LSM-500S laser apparatus, with an accuracy of 0.01 μm. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) characterization was performed using a JEOL JSM7401F microscope operated at 2 kV. Samples were prepared by focused ion beam (FIB) in a JEOL JEM 9320-FIB microscope operated at 30 kV and 25 mA, and analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in a JEOL JEM-2200FS microscope operated at 200 kV.
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