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Ceramic Matrix Composites: A Combined Mechanics Materials Science Educational Program

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.98.1 - 1.98.4

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Paper Authors

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Peter K. Liaw

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N. Yu

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Session 1626

Ceramic Matrix Composites: A Combined Mechanics-Materials Science Educational Program

N. Yu, P. K. Liaw Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Science/ Department of Materials Science and Engineering The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, U.S.A.

Introduction The development of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) is of industrial and national importance. For example, continuous fiber-reinforced CMCs, which have been successfully fabricated at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and several industrial companies, are being recognized as necessary for high- temperature structural applications. The pertinent applications include aerospace structural and machinery components, and energy-related facilities, such as heat exchangers, combustors, hot gas filters and boiler components, and first walls and high heat flux surfaces in fusion reactors. The technology for the fabrication, characterization, modeling, design, and application of CMCs is of crucial importance for improving U.S. industrial competitiveness in the worldwide market. Monolithic ceramics exhibit high performance in severe service environments, but their applications are greatly curtailed by their excessive brittleness. Techniques to remedy the brittleness of ceramics are the subjects of intensive research. One such method is to reinforce the monolithic ceramics with ceramic fibers, particles, or whiskers to increase the toughness and to avoid catastrophic failure. Ceramic matrix composites have emerged as one of the most promising engineering materials for today’s industry in view of their enhanced fracture toughness, chemical inertness, excellent specific strength and stiffness in aggressive environments. A combined effort is being initiated at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Science (MAES) Department and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Department at the University of Tennessee (UT) to integrate UT’s and ORNL’s long-standing research advances on the mechanics and materials science of CMCs into interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate level curricula at UT. A number of distinguished UT faculty members and renowned ORNL scientists have been actively participating in this NSF-funded program. In addition, strong administrative commitment to the implementation of the newly developed program has been made by UT and ORNL administrators, in the form of matching equipment funds, cost sharing, graduate assistantship, personnel time, space, facilities, etc. Furthermore, state-of-the-art instructional modules, such as on-line hypermedia lecture notes, are being developed for quality teaching and effective learning. Curriculum Development Our vision is to provide students with an interdisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis on hands-on training and overall knowledge of CMCs, along with communication skills and teamwork. The students have the unique opportunity of receiving the combined mechanics and materials science training on CMCs under the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable UT and ORNL instructors. Moreover, the students are exposed to the complete and state-of-the-art facilities at ORNL and UT, and the integration of important research advances on broad aspects of CMCs. The newly developed undergraduate and graduate curricula on

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Liaw, P. K., & Yu, N. (1996, June), Ceramic Matrix Composites: A Combined Mechanics Materials Science Educational Program Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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