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Effects of weave architecture on mechanical response of 2D ceramic composites

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A meso-scale finite element model is developed to investigate effects of weave architecture on strain and stress evolution in an eight harness-satin SiC/SiCN composite. Fiber tows are modeled explicitly using elastic rebar layers embedded within elastic/plastic effective medium elements. Effects of through-thickness constraint are investigated using several idealized test geometries, ranging from a single (unconstrained) ply to a fully-constrained two-ply lay-up with periodic boundary conditions in the through-thickness direction. A parallel experimental study of surface strain evolution in a representative SiC/SiCN composite is used to assess the model predictions. The results indicate that, because of bending and straightening of wavy tow segments at the locations of tow cross-overs, strain and stress concentrations arise. The effects are exacerbated by reductions in the constraints on bending and straightening caused by matrix damage, especially in surface plies. The implications of the results in the fracture process and on potential mitigation strategies are discussed.

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