Microstructural and infiltration properties of woven preforms during chemical vapor infiltration
Notice: This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the US Department of Energy (DOE). The U.S. government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the U.S. government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for U.S. government purposes. DOE will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).
Interface-resolved direct numerical simulations (DNSs) of chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) have been performed over a range of furnace-operating conditions (Thiele moduli) and for practical woven preform geometries. A level-set method is used to resolve the geometry of the initial preform at tow scale. The interface between the vapor and solid phase is then evolved in time through the entire CVI densification cycle, fully resolving the time-varying topology between the two phases. In contrast to previous level-set methods for CVI simulation, the physical reaction and diffusion processes govern the level-set movement in the current approach. The surface deposition kinetics is described by the usual one-step model. In this paper, the DNS data are used to study the evolving porosity, surface-to-volume ratio, and flow infiltration properties (permeability and effective diffusivities). Comparisons are made to popularly-assumed structure functions and the standard, Kozeny–Carmen porous media model commonly employed in modeled CFD simulations of CVI. The virtual DNS experiments reveal a Thiele modulus and preform geometry (fabric layup) dependence which the existing microstructural and infiltration models are not able to describe throughout the entire densification process. The DNS-based, woven geometry-specific correlations can be applied directly to mean-field, furnace-scale CFD simulations.
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