Tatlisu, H.; Balek, V.; Beckman, I.N.; Kardjilov, N.; Hilger, A.; Rauch, H.: Imaging and diffusion structural diagnostics of silicon carbide-based composites and fibers. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry 107 (2012), p. 447-452

The aim of this study is to characterize the microstructure and high temperature induced structural changes within fiber reinforced silicon carbide (SiCf/SiC) composites by means of non-destructive techniques. In order to understand their properties, the characterization of the microstructure of SiCf/SiC composites is the crucial issue. Porosity within composites is unavoidable with currently available manufacturing processes, and reduces significantly the life time and performance of the composites under harsh environments. Moreover, the internal pores, created in the manufacturing process cause the degradation most of the outstanding properties such as thermal conductivity, mechanical properties at high temperature, and radiation stability. Cold neutron tomography and diffusion structural diagnostic techniques were applied in the investigation of the microstructure of SiCf/SiC composites to gain complementary information. One of the main obstacles to using these composites in fusion technology and other applications are a change of the porous structure and a swelling at high temperatures and in a severe radiation environment. Cold neutron tomography enables visualization of the microstructure of the composite and consequently the pore distributions within the SiCf/SiC composite were observed with a suitable resolution. The diffusion structural diagnostic technique was used to characterize the thermal behavior of SiCf/SiC composites on heating up to 1300 C.