In a groundbreaking collaboration, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Cygnet Texkimp have achieved a remarkable feat in enhancing the processing of silicon carbide (SiC) composites. This joint effort holds immense promise for industries seeking high-temperature applications, as SiC composites exhibit exceptional performance as ceramic matrix materials.
The project focused on addressing the challenges associated with processing SiC fibers that underwent a specialized coating procedure. By leveraging industrial-scale machines and weaving looms, the AMRC team, led by technical fellow Steffan Lea, successfully developed intricate preforms using continuous SiC fiber. This breakthrough enables the creation of three-dimensional (3D) woven preforms with added complexity, opening up new design possibilities and applications for this high-performance composite material.
A key advancement in the project was the implementation of Tailored Fiber Placement (TFP) technology, which optimizes the properties of SiC fibers by strategically placing them only where needed through controlled paths. This approach ensures efficient material utilization and enhances the overall performance of SiC composites.
Andy Whitham, the director of process development at Cygnet Texkimp, emphasized the significance of firsthand experience in tackling the challenges posed by delicate SiC fibers. The collaboration provided an invaluable opportunity for Cygnet Texkimp to engage with partners outside their core sectors, gaining fresh perspectives on machinery requirements for specific applications.
The successful outcome of this research is set to revolutionize the utilization of SiC composites in industries requiring materials that can withstand high temperatures. The AMRC’s expertise in processing SiC fibers on an industrial scale, combined with Cygnet Texkimp’s insights in handling delicate fibers, paves the way for exciting advancements in high-temperature applications.
The breakthrough achieved through this collaboration marks a significant milestone in the development of SiC composites. As demand for high-performance materials continues to grow, these enhanced processing techniques are poised to reshape the landscape of high-temperature applications across industries. The interdisciplinary cooperation between AMRC and Cygnet Texkimp exemplifies the power of combining knowledge and expertise from different domains to drive innovation.