Ceramic Matrix Composites
July 10, 2012
Dr. James A. DiCarlo, a Senior Technologist in the Materials and Structures Division at NASA Glenn Research Center, has worked for over 35 years in high temperature structural materials. He has gained recognition for his efforts towards understanding, modeling, and improving the physical, mechanical, and chemical properties of ceramic fibers and their metal and ceramic matrix composite systems.
Dr. DiCarlo presented his work on Ceramic Matrix Composites and emphasized the applications, processes, and properties of these materials. When compared to super alloys, ceramic composites are lower density, have higher temperature capability, and have lower thermal expansion. These materials have potential for aeropropulsion applications, such as gas turbine engine components, as well as Space transportation applications, such as turbo pumps and combustion components. For this area of research, DiCarlo’s research team is looking for a fiber type that meets component requirements and that has properties that exceed some requirements. This research is part of the Enabling Propulsion Materials Program which investigates ultra-efficient engine technology. The successes thus far include land-based engine lives of over ten-thousand hours and air-based engine lives of over one hundred hours. This success has been made possible by low design stresses, a relatively low required durability of 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and simple components. Overall, Dr. DiCarlo gave the attendees a better understanding of his work and what can be expected in the area of ceramic matrix composites over the next few years.