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Effects of radiation on SiC-based Nicalon fibers

  • L.L. Snead (a1), M. Osborne (a2) and K.L. More (a1)


This paper presents neutron and ion radiation effects in the Nicalon SiC polymer precursor fiber. It is shown that the serious structural degradation of this fiber and its composites (e.g., CVD SiC/Nicalon) previously reported for the standard grade of Nicalon is primarily due to the presence of the silicon oxycarbide phase. Results supporting this interpretation include microstructural analysis as well as post irradiation mechanical property measurements. Preliminary results of the effects of irradiation on low-oxygen Nicalon fibers are presented. The reduced oxygen content fibers exhibit radiation-induced density, strength, and Weibull's and Young's moduli changes typical of monolithic ceramic materials. This contrasts sharply with the poor irradiation behavior of the standard Nicalon fiber and suggests that improved radiation resistance can be expected in SiC/SiC composites fabricated with low oxygen Nicalon fibers.



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Effects of radiation on SiC-based Nicalon fibers

  • L.L. Snead (a1), M. Osborne (a2) and K.L. More (a1)


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