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Direct Chemical Analysis of Ceramic Matrix Composites

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Direct Chemical Analysis of Ceramic Matrix Composites


Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are the next generation of aerospace materials. Similarly to practically any material used by the aerospace industry, controlling the chemical purity of “aerospace-grade” composites is going to be indispensable to achieve the desirable mechanical properties, reliability and lifetime. On the analytical side, CMCs present multiple challenges for conventional chemical analysis techniques. The extreme chemical inertness of CMC’s toward common digestion media, for instance, makes the use of solution-based chemical analysis techniques for purity control exceedingly challenging. Although direct solid sampling techniques can eliminate the necessity of sample digestion, the complex nature of CMCs could still cause large measurement uncertainties.Fast-flow glow discharge mass spectrometry (FF-GDMS) is a direct solid sampling analytical technique designed for high sensitivity full survey elemental analysis of solids. Operating the fast-flow source in pulse modes permits better control of the atomization of complex samples enabling mass fraction distribution of elements to be monitored in favorably adjustable volume fractions. In this study, we demonstrate that this technique is  exceptionally robust and one of the most sensitive analytical tools currently available for full survey chemical analyses as well as depth specific distribution analysis of CMC materials. Due to the complexity of CMC samples from plasma sputtering point of view, in addition to FF-GDMS measurements, we also investigated complementary characterization techniques, such as direction insert probe – mass spectrometry (DIP-MS), inert gas fusion – infrared/thermal conductivity analysis (IGA), and high resolution thermogravimetric analysis (HR-TGA), for evaluation and/or verification of gas forming elements present in CMC samples.


Authors: Karol Putyera, Chris Iversen, Xinwei Wang, and Rajiv S. Soman


Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017


SKU/Code: SE17--0530

Pages: 10

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