American Chemical Society
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Velcro-Inspired SiC Fuzzy Fibers for Aerospace Applications

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-03-28, 00:00 authored by Amelia H. C. Hart, Ryota Koizumi, John Hamel, Peter Samora Owuor, Yusuke Ito, Sehmus Ozden, Sanjit Bhowmick, Syed Asif Syed Amanulla, Thierry Tsafack, Kunttal Keyshar, Rahul Mital, Janet Hurst, Robert Vajtai, Chandra Sekhar Tiwary, Pulickel M. Ajayan
The most recent and innovative silicon carbide (SiC) fiber ceramic matrix composites, used for lightweight high-heat engine parts in aerospace applications, are woven, layered, and then surrounded by a SiC ceramic matrix composite (CMC). To further improve both the mechanical properties and thermal and oxidative resistance abilities of this material, SiC nanotubes and nanowires (SiCNT/NWs) are grown on the surface of the SiC fiber via carbon nanotube conversion. This conversion utilizes the shape memory synthesis (SMS) method, starting with carbon nanotube (CNT) growth on the SiC fiber surface, to capitalize on the ease of dense surface morphology optimization and the ability to effectively engineer the CNT–SiC fiber interface to create a secure nanotube–fiber attachment. Then, by converting the CNTs to SiCNT/NWs, the relative morphology, advantageous mechanical properties, and secure connection of the initial CNT–SiC fiber architecture are retained, with the addition of high temperature and oxidation resistance. The resultant SiCNT/NW–SiC fiber can be used inside the SiC ceramic matrix composite for a high-heat turbo engine part with longer fatigue life and higher temperature resistance. The differing sides of the woven SiCNT/NWs act as the “hook and loop” mechanism of Velcro but in much smaller scale.