Improved lifetime of new fibrous carbon/ceramic composites
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New carbon/ceramic composites have been synthesized from low-cost phenol–formaldehyde resin and polysiloxane preceram. A reference carbon composite reinforced with carbon fibre (CC composite) is obtained in first place from a carbon fibre roving impregnated with a solution of phenol–formaldehyde resin in isopropyl alcohol. To obtain fibrous carbon/ceramic composites the CC perform is impregnated with polymethylphenylsiloxane polymer and then a thermal treatment in an inert atmosphere is applied. Depending on the temperature of this process, the resulting ceramics can be silicon carbide (SiC) or silicon oxycarbide (SiCO). Three representative samples, named CC/SiCO(a) (obtained at 1000 °C), CC/SiCO(b) (1500 °C) and CC/SiC (1700 °C), have been tested for fatigue behaviour and oxidation resistance. The value of the Young’s modulus remains constant in fatigue tests done in flexion mode for the three new composites during a high number of cycles until sudden degradation begins. This is an unusual and advantageous characteristic for this type of materials and results in the absence of delamination during the measurements. In contrast, the CC reference composite shows a progressive degradation of the Young’s modulus accompanied by delamination. SEM micrographs revealed that the formation of filaments of submicrometer diameter during the heat treatment can be responsible for the improved behaviour of these composites. The CC/SiC composite shows the best oxidation resistance among the three types of composites, with a 44% mass loss after 100 h of oxidation.
This work was financed by the National Science Centre (Poland), Grant number 2011/01/B/ST8/07451, based on decision number DEC-2011/01/B/ST8/07451.
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