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Title: Mechanical property degradation of high crystalline SiC fiber–reinforced SiC matrix composite neutron irradiated to ~100 displacements per atom

For the development of silicon carbide (SiC) materials for next-generation nuclear structural applications, degradation of material properties under intense neutron irradiation is a critical feasibility issue. This paper evaluated the mechanical properties and microstructure of a chemical vapor infiltrated SiC matrix composite, reinforced with a multi-layer SiC/pyrolytic carbon–coated Hi-Nicalon TM Type S SiC fiber, following neutron irradiation at 319 and 629 °C to ~100 displacements per atom. Both the proportional limit stress and ultimate flexural strength were significantly degraded as a result of irradiation at both temperatures. After irradiation at 319 °C, the quasi-ductile fracture behavior of the nonirradiated composite became brittle, a result that was explained by a loss of functionality of the fiber/matrix interface associated with the disappearance of the interphase due to irradiation. Finally, the specimens irradiated at 629 °C showed increased apparent failure strain because the fiber/matrix interphase was weakened by irradiation-induced partial debonding.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. National Inst. for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Rokkasho (Japan)
  3. Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; NFE-10-02779
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the European Ceramic Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 38; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0955-2219
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); National Inst. for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Rokkasho (Japan)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24); Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; silicon carbide; ceramics matrix composite; neutron irradiation; mechanical properties
OSTI Identifier: