Table of Contents
Journal of Ceramics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 217931, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/217931
Research Article

Synthesis of β-SiC Fine Fibers by the Forcespinning Method with Microwave Irradiation

1Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA
2National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Materials and Structures Division, Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA

Received 15 September 2014; Accepted 25 December 2014

Academic Editor: Yuan-hua Lin

Copyright © 2015 Alfonso Salinas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A rapid method for synthesizing β-silicon carbide (β-SiC) fine fiber composite has been achieved by combining forcespinning technology with microwave energy processing. β-SiC has applications as composite reinforcements, refractory filtration systems, and other high temperature applications given their properties such as low density, oxidation resistance, thermal stability, and wear resistance. Nonwoven fine fiber mats were prepared through a solution based method using polystyrene (PS) and polycarbomethylsilane (PCmS) as the precursor materials. The fiber spinning was performed under different parameters to obtain high yield, fiber homogeneity, and small diameters. The spinning was carried out under controlled nitrogen environment to control and reduce oxygen content. Characterization was conducted using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results show high yield, long continuous bead-free nonwoven fine fibers with diameters ranging from 270 nm to 2 µm depending on the selected processing parameters. The fine fiber mats show formation of highly crystalline β-SiC fine fiber after microwave irradiation.