Modeling and Simulation of Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) Processes

Period of Performance: 08/06/2014 - 06/30/2016


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Structural Analytics, Inc.
2888 Loker Ave. East, Suite 222
Carlsbad, CA 92010
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: The goal of the proposal is to develop a physics-based methodology and associated software to simulate the Polymer Impregnation and Pyrolysis (PIP) manufacturing process for Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs). The proposed methodology is based on a mechanistic (physics-based) model that includes direct consideration of experimental observations of the manufacturing steps in pursuit of optimum manufacturing conditions. This is of prime importance to both of our industrial sponsors COI Ceramics, Inc. (COIC) and United Technologies. Once developed and thoroughly validated, the methodology would be used in cost effective development of CMC components by the Air Force and its major aerospace engine suppliers. In Phase I the feasibility of using this methodology has been demonstrated by qualitative comparison with experimental observations of open porosity. Basic elements of mass and heat transfer models were also developed. The proposed Phase II effort aims to further develop, validate and integrate the models using test data from a detailed experimental program. Close coordination with COIC, who will fabricate S400 material used in the program and lead the experimental effort, will ensure that test data will be generated to support the modeling effort and that the model will realistically simulate the manufacturing process. BENEFIT: Due to the proliferation in potential applications of ceramic matrix composites in military and commercial aerospace engines and in industrial gas turbine industries, the proposed dual-use high technology product has an immediate and expanding market. The biggest benefit of the proposed product is in its ability to improve the PIP manufacturing process for CMCs by optimizing the process input variables and making the process more efficient. Thus the product will help to reduce manufacturing cost. The product can also be useful in modifying manufacturing process in order to achieve targeted structural properties. SAI will market the methodology, the software and technical expertise (services) to CMC manufacturers and other the end-users of CMC materials.