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Silicon carbide fiber manufacturing: Cost and technology...

by Sefa Yilmaz, Merlin Theodore, Soydan Ozcan
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Composites Part B: Engineering
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Significant advances have been made in the past decade concerning silicon carbide fiber manufacturing methods resulting in near-stoichiometric small-diameter fibers that meet the property requirements for most of the ceramic matrix composites (CMC) and nuclear applications. The manufacturing cost, however, remained prohibitively high, preventing the use of it in different applications requiring much lower cost. Silicon carbide (SiC) fiber reinforced CMC is dominated by the cost of SiC fiber which comprises more than 50 % of the finished part cost. This article provides insight into the SiC fiber manufacturing costs and highlights the need for an alternative SiC fiber precursor and manufacturing method. Analysis of the existing polycarbosilane (PCS)-based SiC fiber manufacturing shows that the crosslinking (curing) and raw material preparation steps are high-cost steps that need lower cost options. Alternative SiC fiber precursor should be sought for lowering the cost of SiC fibers.