21 August 2009 Material testing of silicon carbide mirrors
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Abstract
The Aerospace Corporation is developing a space qualification method for silicon carbide optical systems that covers material verification through system development. One of the initial efforts has been to establish testing protocols for material properties. Three different tests have been performed to determine mechanical properties of SiC: modulus of rupture, equibiaxial flexural strength and fracture toughness. Testing materials and methods have been in accordance with the respective ASTM standards. Material from four vendors has been tested to date, as part of the MISSE flight program and other programs. Data analysis has focused on the types of issues that are important when building actual components- statistical modeling of test results, understanding batch-to-batch or other source material variations, and relating mechanical properties to microstructures. Mechanical properties are needed as inputs to design trade studies and development and analysis of proof tests, and to confirm or understand the results of non-destructive evaluations of the source materials. Measuring these properties using standardized tests on a statistically valid number of samples is intended to increase confidence for purchasers of SiC spacecraft components that materials and structures will perform as intended at the highest level of reliability.
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David B. Witkin, David B. Witkin, Iwona A. Palusinski, Iwona A. Palusinski, } "Material testing of silicon carbide mirrors", Proc. SPIE 7425, Optical Materials and Structures Technologies IV, 742509 (21 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.826363; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.826363
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