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X-Ray Tomographic Microscopy of Nicalon Preforms and Chemical Vapor Infiltrated Nicalon/Silicon Carbide Composites

  • M. D. Butts (a1), S. R. Stock (a1), J. H. Kinney (a2), T. L. Starr (a1), M. C. Nichols (a3), C. A. Lundgren (a4), T. M. Breunig (a1) and A. Guvenilir (a1)...

Abstract

Following the evolving microstructure of composites through all stages of chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) is a key to improved understanding and control of the process. X-ray Tomographic Microscopy (XTM), i.e., very high resolution computed tomography, allows the microstructure of macroscopic volumes of a composite to be imaged nondestructively with resolution approaching one micrometer. Results obtained with XTM on dense SiC/SiC composites and on woven SiC fiber preforms illustrate how details of the densification process can be followed using this technique during interruptions in processing. Ways in which the three-dimensional microstructural information may be used to improve modeling are also indicated.

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