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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ceramic Composites in Extreme Environments: Experimentation and Modeling

  • Author(s): Angle, Jesse Philip
  • Advisor(s): Mecartney, Martha L
  • et al.

Advanced ceramic materials are used in many fields of the technology sector. Ceramics are ideal materials for applications in extreme environments where stability under high temperatures, resistance to corrosion, and good mechanical strength are required. Ceramic composites offer novel solutions to circumvent issues and drawbacks seen in traditional single-phase materials by taking advantage of the unique properties offered by each constituent phase. A synergistic combination of properties and microstructural and morphological characteristics offer the potential for application specific tailoring, and expand the usefulness of the material by broadening its application spectrum. The goal of this research is to explore the use of ceramic composite systems for traditional single-phase components found in solid-state oxygen sensors and nuclear fuel. In both applications, ceramic-based components operate at elevated temperatures, are subjected to extreme thermal gradients, and can have compromised mechanical integrity due to the buildup of thermal stresses. These challenges may be significantly alleviated using a ceramic composite approach, where each constituent has its own unique morphology and attributes. Experimental and computational models are used in tandem in order to investigate the potential for advanced ceramic composite systems for applications in oxygen sensors and nuclear fuel. Lastly, the effect of water vapor in the high temperature environment is also evaluated.

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