Thermoelastic Behavior of Al2O3-SiC Nanocomposite via Microstructure-Based Finite Element Analysis

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In a composite material, thermomechanical behaviors of the constituent materials affect those of the final product. Near boundaries between the matrix and the reinforcement, stresses develop from temperature changes that affect the fracture toughness of the composite. Primarily, studies of these behaviors use either empirical results or mathematical analysis of geometric models. Here a model is developed within the OOF2 finite element program to replicate these particulate composites, specifically a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) of SiC in an Al2O3 matrix. Radial stresses were measured for the case of both a single particle in an infinite matrix and for multiple particles as the composite was subjected to a temperature decrease of 1000˚C. The stresses as a function of radial distance and volume fraction of inclusion are compared against literature values. By establishing a base model, more complex analyses (e.g. multiple inclusion species, particle distribution effects) can be studied.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Materials science, Engineering, Mathematics