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The creation of new types of fibers has, in the past, stimulated the development of equally new composites. Besides the most commonly used glass and graphite fiber types, a number of newer ceramic fibers have been introduced: Fiber FP® by DuPont and 3M Company's Nextel® are two recent examples. In addition, a silicon carbide yarn is currently available from the Nippon Carbon Company of Japan. This last fiber, called Nicalon®, has created a great deal of interest because of its unique suitability for reinforcement of resin, metal, and ceramic matrix composites. I will briefly describe some of the characteristics of this ceramic yarn and the composites that have been fabricated with it. While these data are of interest, it is probably more important that this fiber has stimulated wide enthusiasm for fibers and ceramics created from organometallic precursors.
United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford, CT
Stock #: CTR10795J