In situ investigation of failure in 3D braided SiCf/SiC composites under flexural loading

Changqi Liu, Yang Chen, Duoqi Shi, James Marrow, Xin Jing, Xiaoguang Yang

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1 Citation (SciVal)


The mechanical failure of three-dimensional (3D) 4-step braided SiCf/SiC composites, processed by precursor infiltration pyrolysis, has been studied under flexural loading to investigate the condition at failure. The investigation integrated the advantages of continuous data acquisition by optical imaging and 3D reconstruction of internal structure in X-CT imaging, for in situ investigation of microstructure-related failure mechanisms. Optical imaging with digital image correlation acquired the surface displacements. X-ray computed tomographs, obtained in situ, were analysed by digital volume correlation to measure the 3D displacement fields. Image subtraction, informed by the 3D displacements, was used to detect and visualize crack development. Curvature measurement, via the displacement fields, monitored the change in effective flexural modulus. The observed failure modes included matrix cracking, inter- and intra-bundle debonding and fibre breakage. Tensile cracks were arrested by the heterogeneous microstructure, and the ultimate failure under flexural loading was due to multiple cracking in compression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114067
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date6 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2021


  • Braided composites
  • Digital image correlation
  • Failure
  • Flexural loading
  • SiC/SiC
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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