Date of this Version
Adv. Composite Mater., Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 33-45 (1999)
SiC and Si3N4 materials were tested under various turbine engine combustion environments, chosen to represent either conventional fuel-lean or fuel-rich mixtures proposed for high speed aircraft. Representative CVD, sintered, and composite materials were evaluated in both furnace and high pressure burner rig exposure. While protective SiO2 scales form in all cases, evidence is presented to support paralinear growth kinetics, i.e. parabolic growth moderated simultaneously by linear volatilization. The volatility rate is dependent on temperature, moisture content, system pressure, and gas velocity. The burner tests were used to map SiO2 volatility (and SiC recession) over a range of temperature, pressure, and velocity. The functional dependency of material recession (volatility) that emerged followed the form: exp(-Q/RT) * Px * vy. These empirical relations were compared to rates predicted from the thermodynamics of volatile SiO and SiOxHv reaction products and a kinetic model of diffusion through a moving boundary layer. For typical combustion conditions, recession of 0.2 to 2 μm/h is predicted at 1200-1400°C, far in excess of acceptable long term limits.