What You Should Know About Ceramic Matrix Composites


When people talk about composites, they often refer to things like carbon fiber and fiberglass. But carbon fiber and fiberglass barely scratch the surface. There are so many others, including ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). Axiom Materials specializes in CMCs for a variety of industries.

Although ceramic matrix composites might not be what you are looking for, the only way to know for sure is to investigate. Below are the most important things we believe you should know about CMCs, especially if you have had very little experience with them.

CMC Basics

A composite material is any material made up of two or more materials whose key properties are further enhanced by combining them. A ceramics matrix composite is a specific type of composite made by combining two ceramic components:

  • Reinforcing Fibers – Similar to how carbon fiber reinforced plastics are manufactured, CMCs are reinforced by a strong fiber material usually made from another ceramic. Silicon carbide is a good example.
  • Ceramic Matrix – A CMC features a ceramic matrix that surrounds and bonds the fibers together. The matrix acts as a combination superglue and filler for the fibers.

A good example of a ceramic matrix composite is C/SiC. It is produced by combining carbon fibers and silicon carbide. C/SiC offers high temperature resistance and good thermal conductivity. It is used in rockets, jet engines, and other applications.

Why Engineers Choose CMCs

Engineers in aerospace, energy, and industrial processes look at ceramic matrix composites as a superior alternative to other choices. There are three characteristics that make CMCs so attractive for high performance needs:

  • Excellent Temperature Resistance – Ceramic fibers and matrices can both withstand extremely high temperatures without issue. That is exactly what an engineer needs when designing something like a rocket nozzle or jet engine.
  • Durability – CMCs are demonstrably tougher than traditional ceramics. They are stronger and less likely to shatter. Thanks to the reinforcing fibers, it is unlikely that small cracks will propagate through a CMC material.
  • Lower Weight – High weight-to-strength ratios are common for composites. Expect nothing less from CMCs. Although ceramics are normally thought of as dense and heavy, CMCs tend to be lighter thanks to the hollow spaces within their fibers. You still get the desired strength with less weight.

In the energy sector, ceramic matrix composites are ideal for both power plants and gas fired turbines. CMCs improve turbine efficiency. They also allow for higher operating temperatures. That same resistance to high temperatures often proves valuable to industrial processes.

Industrial furnaces, kilns, and other high-temperature industrial equipment are all made more efficient and safe by CMCs. Their lighter weight and superior strength only add to their attractiveness as a manufacturing option.

CMC for Your Manufacturing

Axiom Materials leads the way in producing oxide-oxide ceramic matrix composites. As the world’s leading producer, our Ox-Ox CMCs offer significant application momentum as high-temperature, oxidation-sensitive components. We invite you to learn more about them before energy, aerospace, and hypersonics applications.

Also note that we are leading the way in engineering new CMC industrial applications. We are targeting oil and gas refinery pipes, refractory ovens, and other high-temperature components that require superior strength and extended life cycles.

CMCs are a unique type of composites unlike any other manufacturing materials you may have used. By combining a ceramic matrix with a reinforcing fiber, you get all the toughness ceramics are known for along with additional properties that cannot be beaten. We hope you will consider Axiom Materials as your primary supplier of . We also supply composite prepregs, film adhesives, ancillary products, and an innovative line of new honeycomb core products. Contact us today!