Effect of irradiation swelling on the mechanical properties of unidirectional SiC/SiC composites

Figure of a 3d unit cell used during the study for longitudinal behaviour of ud composites

n order to apply SiC/SiC composites in nuclear systems, it is essential to understand the potential effects of dimensional changes induced by neutron irradiation on property degradation.

A microscale model has been developed, as a contribution to the EC Horizon 2020 Il Trovatore project, to predict the mechanical behaviour of irradiated fibre composites, including matrix cracking and interface debonding.

This paper, in the Journal of Nuclear Materials, by Yang Chen and James Marrow, is a new numerical simulation of the states of residual stresses and damage that may be induced by swelling mismatch between fibres and matrix, and their subsequent effects on the transverse and longitudinal tensile mechanical properties of composites.

The model correctly describes experimental trends reported in the literature, including experimental data for tensile loading of a mini composite specimen.