Matrix cracking in ceramic matrix composites with fine grained fibers at high temperatures will be governed by fiber creep, as relaxation of the fibers eliminates crack tip shielding. Using a time dependent bridging law which describes the effect of creeping fibers bridging a crack in an elastic matrix, crack growth initiation and history have been modeled. For a stationary crack, crack tip stress intensity factors as a function of time are presented to predict incubation times before subcritical crack growth. Two crack growth studies are reviewed: a constant velocity approximation for small-scale bridging, and a complete velocity history analysis which can be used to predict crack length as a function of time. The predictions are summarized and discussed in terms of identifying various regimes of crack growth initiation, subcritical growth, and catastrophic matrix cracking.

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