Cost-performance analysis of silicon carbide fibers
November 5-9, 2017
Side-by-side studies of tensile strength and high-temperature exposures were conducted for High-Nicalon Type S, Sylramic, and Laser-Printed Silicon Carbide fibers. This battery of tests supports the well-known superior properties of CVD-derived Silicon Carbide, such as Specialty Materials’ SCS Ultra. SCS Ultra, however, is derived from CVD onto a continuous core filament substrate, hence it can only be produced in large diameter continuous filaments (90-140 µm). In contrast, laser-printing of SiC fibers relies on self-seeded Laser-Induced Chemical Vapor Deposition, which does away with the core filament substrate requirement, achieving much smaller diameters (adjustable between 14 and 50 µm) and growth rates, while replicating SCS Ultra’s superior properties.
This paper also discusses economic projections for laser-printed SiC fiber production. Each laser beam produces one continuous filament. Lasers are currently at $100/beam with the cost expected to continue to fall to $50/beam in the next 5 years. Current fiber laser printers are at 384 beams per unit. This means 120 laser printers are needed per metric ton of 25 µm SiC fiber per year. This places capital equipment costs at a fraction of current polymer-derived SiC fibers production, with specific energetic requirements (kW-h/Ton) and raw material exploitation (kg out / kg in) improvements by one order of magnitude or greater. Long-term projections for mass-produced laser-printed fibers present a realistic pathway to $1000/lb CVD-quality SiC fibers.
Shay Harrison and Joseph Pegna, "Cost-performance analysis of silicon carbide fibers" in "Advanced Ceramic Matrix Composites: Science and Technology of Materials, Design, Applications, Performance and Integration", Yutaka Kagawa, Tokyo University of Technology, Japan Dongming Zhu, NASA Glenn Research Center, USA Ram Darolia, GE Aviation (retired), USA Rishi Raj, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2017). http://dc.engconfintl.org/acmc/4