A model SiC-based fibre with a low oxygen content prepared from a polycarbosilane precursor

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A model SiC-fibre has been prepared from a polycarbosilane precursor by means of an irradiation oxygen-free curing process. The chemical composition remains unchanged after heat treatments under an inert atmosphere for pyrolysis temperatures of 1600°C. At this temperature, the fibre consists of SiC nanocrystals (mean size 6–10 nm) and free carbon. However, a slow grain growth takes place as the temperature is increased. The fibre retains a high strength at room and high temperatures up to temperatures of 1600 °C when the pyrolysis has been performed under nitrogen. The electrical conductivity was studied as a function of the pyrolysis temperature Tp: For 1100≤Tp≤1200 °C, the conductivity increases by several orders of magnitude due to the reorganization of the free carbon phase at the SiC grain boundaries. Oxidation kinetics of the filaments remain parabolic from 1000–1400 °C.

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