Investigation of cutting-induced damage in CMC bend bars
Ceramic matrix composites (""CMC"") with a strong fibre-matrix interface can be made damage-tolerant by introducing a highly porous matrix. Such composites typically have only a low interlaminar shear strength, which can potentially promote damage when preparing specimens or components by cutting. In order to investigate the damage induced by different cutting methods, waterjet cutting with and without abrasives, laser-cutting, wire eroding and cutoff grinding were used to cut plates of two different CMCs with a matrix porosity up to 35 vol.-%. For each combination of cutting method and composite, the flexural and interlaminar shear strength of the resulting specimens was determined. Additionally, the integrity of the regions near the cut surfaces was investigated by high-resolution x-ray computer tomography. It could be shown that the geometrical quality of the cut is strongly affected by the cutting method employed. Laser cut and waterjet cut specimens showed damage and delaminations near the cut surface leading to a reduced interlaminar shear strength of short bend bars in extreme cases.