On understanding the microstructure of SiC/SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) after a material removal process

O. Gavalda Diaz, D. A. Axinte, P. Butler-Smith, D. Novovic

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The unique material nature (e.g. hard, brittle, heterogeneous and orthotropic) of SiC-based Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) highly affects the outcomes of machining process by inducing high thermo-mechanical loads during material removal. This can result in severe material damage which in turn causes a reduction of the in-service life of critical structural ceramic components (such as in aero-engines or nuclear reactors). In this study, the phenomenon by which the material removal mechanism during drilling influences the CMC surface integrity are discussed by characterising the fracture and deformation phenomena on the CMC's constituents - i.e. SiC and Si materials. Moreover, the strain induced to the surface, together with the changes in chemical composition are characterised via micro Raman spectroscopy and related to the principles of residual stresses upon cutting. This results in a novel understanding of the material removal process that governs cutting of SiC-based CMCs while emphasising how the different microstructure, morphology and nature of ceramics behave under the same cutting conditions. This study has therefore led to a comprehension of how the microstructure of complex hierarchical ceramic materials such as SiC/SiC CMCs is affected by a mechanical cutting process and opens avenues to understand the structure damage under other machining operations (e.g. milling, grinding).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science & Engineering A: Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2019


  • Ceramic Matrix Composites
  • Machining
  • Material removal mechanism
  • Microstructure
  • Residual stresses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'On understanding the microstructure of SiC/SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) after a material removal process'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this