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Monolithic ceramics, because of their high strength, high modulus, oxidative stability, and low density, have high potential for use in advanced turbine engines. However, because of their poor reliability and catastrophic failure behavior, their use is severely limited. Current in-house programs are geared toward improving the reliability of monolithic ceramics by selectively reinforcing these materials with continuous fibers. The main thrust of this program is to gain a basic understanding of the behavior of these matrices so as to permit the design of composite systems with combinations of mechanical behavior, stability, environmental resistance, and processability which can lead to application in combustors, combustor liners, turbine rotor blades, disks, and vanes.
The materials laboratory at NASA Lewis has unique facilities for fabricating and testing these experimental materials. These facilities include an engine-simulation test facility, a burner rig, a thermal shock facility, and a full spectrum of mechanical and environmental test facilities. Fabrication facilities include powder and fiber handling equipment, hot presses, sintering furnaces, nitriding furnaces, and a complete array of heat treating, molding, and material analysis equipment. The fabrication technologies that are developed will be transferred to the industry.
POC: Dr. Ramakrishna T. Bhatt
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Updated: March 12, 2004