Chemical methods for scanning electron microscope characterization of non-oxide ceramics and composites

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The deformation of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) is controlled by several processes occurring in the matrix, in the enforcing phase, at the interfaces between different phases and at the surface of the body. The main tool to study morphology features of CMC-s is high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In this study destructive chemical methods such as chemical etching and burning of combustible phases were used to prepare samples for SEM investigations from three types of materials. I. SiC skeletons of C/C-SiC structures prepared of 2D woven fabric and chopped fiber bodies were produced by chemical elimination of the constituents: Si, reinforcing C- fibers and amorphous carbon. II. Silicon-nitride reaction bonded silicon-carbide samples with finishing surface oxide films - as produced and aged - were handled by HF etchants. Etching revealed cristobalite crystallites at the interface between ceramics and oxide film, and cracks in the glassy surface layer. III. Microstructure and pore structure of Si3N4 ceramics, carbon nanotube reinforced Si3N4 (CNT/Si3N 4), and C/Si3N4 with graphite and carbon black addition were examined by HF etching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-385
Number of pages4
JournalKey Engineering Materials
Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 2009



  • Chemical etching
  • Composites
  • Focused ion beam
  • Microstructure characterization
  • Non-oxide ceramics
  • Scanning electron microscope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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