Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) have been engineered to retain ceramic temperature capabilities with metal-like mechanical toughness. To create and validate damage accumulation models, we want real-time, sub-micron, 3D visualizations of the microstructure. The in situ X-ray tomography facility at the Advanced Light Source (LBNL) enabled us to observe and quantify microscale changes like crack patterns and fiber breaks that correlated with microstructural features, at a variety of temperatures and loading configurations. The ongoing efforts and expertise of a broader team, comprising of researchers from GE Research, GE Aviation, Advanced Light Source, AFRL and University of Utah, was leveraged in order to make these experiments successful.
3D visualization of the microstructure of a CMC part
This project provided us with improved fundamental understanding of the progression of deformation in a material system as complex as a CMC. The findings from our experiments were used to develop and validate microstructure-based damage accumulation models of the material. Synchrotron sources provide the unique capability of conducting experiments in conditions close to real-life, which cannot be achieved in the laboratory setting. GE Research is uniquely positioned to bring industrially relevant problems to National User facilities and has been actively using synchrotron radiation for materials characterization at various DOE facilities, including both NSLS and APS.
Capabilities utilized for In-Situ Observation of Damage Accumulation in CMCs project
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