Microstructure property relationship in Pyrex glass composites reinforced with Nicalon fibres
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Detailed microstructural studies have been carried out on a series of composites consisting of Pyrex glass reinforced with Nicalon fibres. A variety of techniques has been employed, including X-ray and electron diffraction, electron-probe microanalysis and thin foil analytical electron microscopy. In parallel, mechanical tests have been performed on the composites and measurements have been made of the fibre-matrix bond.
Substantial amounts of cristobalite have been identified in the matrix, up to ∼48% by volume in some cases. At such levels, microcracking is a common occurrence due to the high differential contraction between the matrix constituents upon cooling, which leads to matrix disintegration upon mechanical testing. A second microstructural feature which affects the mechanical behaviour of the composite concerns the fibre-matrix interface and, in particular, the chemistry of the outermost (∼200 nm) surface regions of the fibre. The amount of graphite here is shown to affect directly the strength of the fibre-matrix bond and, in turn, the degree of fibre pull out and the mechanical properties of the composite.
KeywordsElectron Diffraction Microstructural Feature Analytical Electron Microscopy Thin Foil Common Occurrence
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