Ceramic-Matrix Composites and Carbon-Carbon Composites
Ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) are being developed for a number of high-temperature and high-performance applications in industrial, aerospace, and energy conservation sectors. This article focuses on processing, fabrication, testing, and characterization methods of CMCs, namely, discontinuously reinforced composites and continuous-fiber-reinforced composites. Processing methods include cold pressing, sintering, hot pressing, reaction bonding, melt infiltration, directed metal oxidation, sol-gel and polymer pyrolysis, self-propagating high-temperature synthesis and joining. A table summarizes the properties of various ceramic reinforcements and industrial applications of these composites.
Carbon-carbon composites (CCCs) are introduced in fields that require their high specific strength and stiffness, in combination with their thermoshock resistance, chemical resistance, and fracture toughness, especially at high temperatures. The use of CCCs has expanded as the price of carbon fibers has dropped and their mechanical properties have increased. This article begins with an overview of the carbon conversion processes, fiber properties and microstructures, and interfacial bonding and environmental interaction of carbon fibers, followed by a detailed discussion on the various techniques available for processing CCCs for specific applications, including preform fabrication (fiber weaving), densification, application of protective coatings, and joining. The article closes with a description of the mechanical and physical properties and applications of CCCs. The main applications of CCCs, in terms of money and mass, are in the military, space, and aircraft industries.