Detailed two-dimensional finite element analyses of the cross-sections of a model CVI (chemical vapor infiltrated) SiC/SiC (silicon carbide fiber in a silicon carbide matrix) ceramic matrix composites are performed. High resolution images of the cross-section of this composite material are generated using serial sectioning of the test specimens. These images are then used to develop very detailed finite element models of the cross-sections using the public domain software OOF2 (Object Oriented Analysis of Material Microstructures). Examination of these images shows that these microstructures have significant variability and irregularity. How these variabilities manifest themselves in the variability in effective properties as well as the stress distribution, damage initiation and damage progression is the overall objective of this work. Results indicate that even though the macroscopic stress-strain behavior of various sections analyzed is very similar, each section has a very distinct damage pattern when subjected to inplane tensile loads and this damage pattern seems to follow the unique architectural and microstructural details of the analyzed sections.

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