The term ceramic brings an image to the mind of the beautiful vases, the elegant teacups, the clay, and the efforts of the Potter, who flawlessly gives attractive shapes to earthen pots. But along with this, it also recalls with it the natural characteristic of brittleness and poor impact strength. Two or more elements are combined to form the desired ceramic material, and when a fiber-reinforced material is grouped with composite materials, they form Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC). Here, ceramics characterizes itself as both the reinforced material and the matrix material, making it a type of composite known as CMC.
History of CMC Products
The first CMC product, called Leap, an aircraft engine, became prevalent in 2016, after which it was used in many plane models for group optimization and smooth run rides.
What Makes Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) Different?
The combination of the Matrix with the fiber makes it more reliable to use for industries. CMC is extensively used in several engineering industries as it becomes resistant to corrosion. It has more hardness and strength qualities, chemical stability, and intensity of taking stress during crack terminations are much higher than the conventional structural materials.
Application of CMC in Industries
Industries with a high demand for thermal and mechanical requirements use CMC.
- Aerospace Industry- Aerospace industries require high and low-pressure materials for their engines to get maximum fuel efficiency with a lower noise and vibration level. CMC plays the role of being as tough as metals to be used in the aerospace gas turbines sector.
- Oil and Gas Industry- For drilling mud to extract oil Ceramic Matrix Composite is used as a thickening agent and fracture-resistant for its benefit in the oil drilling market.
- Automotive Industry - High temperature and corrosion-free characteristics of Ceramic Matrix Composites make it used in the automotive sector in the clutch feature as it requires almost no cooling for a smooth run-in vehicle with a reduction in pollution and proper consumption of electricity. Apart from these, there are various other segments like electronics, pesticides, and leathers where CMC application is considered for its properties.
Having said all the benefits of CMC, manufacturing companies have also found CMC's challenges in matters of high cost and the processing of it.
- Slow processing - Since they are temperature resistant, they must be processed very slowly and in a very intensive, solid method.
- Costly affair - The fiber coatings and ceramic fibers are incurred at a higher price with variable cost, fixed cost, and implementation cost.
- Density issue- The hardness levels of CMC make it dense in machining, becoming one of its disadvantages.
- Limited strength concern - If Matrix Composites are not processed correctly, the strength will reduce to a greater extent in its structure. When they are cut unevenly, or if the edge shapes are changed in their form, it loses their rigidity quality to a greater extent.
CMC is differentiated from other materials by being lightweight, making it beneficial for industries with heavy-weight equipment. Moreover, rising fuel costs are a more profound concern, and fuel costs are saved up to 8% reduction on its use. These attributes create multiple opportunities for heavy industries with a change in the style of their work culture. The Ceramic Matrix Composite market is projected to register a CAGR of 12% from 2022 to 2030.