An experimental investigation of the failure modes in hybrid ceramic matrix composites


A material system has been developed that employs the benefits of both fiber and whisker reinforcement in the strengthening and toughening of ceramics. Testing was performed on this hybrid material system in three-point flexure using a combination of acoustic emissions analysis and microscopy techniques for damage analysis. It is shown that the hybrid material system will withstand a higher stress before microcracking occurs in the matrix and has improved transverse strength. In the longitudinal direction, microcracking occurred at 121 MPa for the hybrid composite, compared to 47 MPa for composites reinforced solely with fibers. The transverse flexure strength was 62 MPa for the hybrid, compared with 24 MPa for fiber-reinforced composites. The hybrid composite also had higher stiffness and better damage tolerance in both the longitudinal and transverse directions. Material properties are presented for three material systems: a whisker-reinforced cordierite composite, a fiber-reinforced cordierite composite, and a fiber/whisker hybrid-reinforced cordierite composite.

Document Type





Ceramic matrix, Composites, Failure mechanisms, Hybrid composites, Microcracking, Transverse properties

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Composites Technology and Research