TitleNondestructive ultrasonic characterization of armor grade silicon carbide
NamePortune, Andrew Richard (author), Haber, Richard (chair), Niesz, Dale (internal member), Sigel, George (internal member), Matthewson, M. John (internal member), McCauley, James (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectMaterials Science and Engineering,
DescriptionCeramic materials have traditionally been chosen for armor applications for their superior mechanical properties and low densities. At high strain rates seen during ballistic events, the behavior of these materials relies upon the total volumetric flaw concentration more so than any single anomalous flaw. In this context flaws can be defined as any microstructural feature which detriments the performance of the material, potentially including secondary phases, pores, or unreacted sintering additives. Predicting the performance of armor grade ceramic materials depends on knowledge of the absolute and relative concentration and size distribution of bulk heterogeneities. Ultrasound was chosen as a nondestructive technique for characterizing the microstructure of dense silicon carbide ceramics. Acoustic waves interact elastically with grains and inclusions in large sample volumes, and were well suited to determine concentration and size distribution variations for solid inclusions. Methodology was developed for rapid acquisition and analysis of attenuation coefficient spectra. Measurements were conducted at individual points and over large sample areas using a novel technique entitled scanning acoustic spectroscopy. Loss spectra were split into absorption and scattering dominant frequency regimes to simplify analysis. The primary absorption mechanism in polycrystalline silicon carbide was identified as thermoelastic in nature. Correlations between microstructural conditions and parameters within the absorption equation were established through study of commercial and custom engineered SiC materials. Nonlinear least squares regression analysis was used to estimate the size distributions of boron carbide and carbon inclusions within commercial SiC materials. This technique was shown to additionally be capable of approximating grain size distributions in engineered SiC materials which did not contain solid inclusions. Comparisons to results from electron microscopy exhibited favorable agreement between predicted and observed distributions. Developed techniques were applied to large sample areas using scanning acoustic spectroscopy to map variations in the size distribution and concentration of grains and solid inclusions within the bulk microstructure. The experiments performed in this thesis form the foundation of a novel characterization technique capable of mapping variations in sample composition which could be extended to a wide range of dense polycrystalline heterogeneous materials.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Andrew Richard Portune
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.