Defects and Damage in Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) – Implications for Component Life Prediction

Period of Performance: 12/30/2010 - 09/30/2011


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Innovative research and development leading to a dual-use advanced technology product is proposed. The product is a methodology and associated software for a damage-based non-linear deformation model to study the effect of manufacturing defects and service-induced damage in Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs). Once developed and validated, the methodology would be used in cost effective development of CMC components by the Air Force and its major aerospace engine suppliers. The proposed methodology would be applicable to a broad class of CMCs and components for military and commercial applications. An innovative mechanistic (physics-based) modeling approach is proposed. The approach includes direct consideration of relevant defect and damage mechanisms. Phase I will include characterization and modeling of existing CMC data obtained from Pratt & Whitney and COI Ceramics, Inc. (our industry endorsers). The models will be validated against benchmark test data involving CMCs containing defects and damage. Predictions will be compared with experimental measurements to assess the modeling approach and feasibility for a comprehensive methodology development in Phase II. 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. SAI will market the methodology, the software and technical expertise (services) to these and other industries.