A multi-layered ceramic tube having an inner layer of high purity beta phase stoichiometric silicon carbide, a central composite layer of continuous beta phase stoichiometric silicon carbide fibers, and an outer layer of fine-grained silicon carbide. The ceramic tube is particularly suited for use as cladding for a fuel rod used in a power plant or reactor. The ceramic tube has a desirable combination of high initial crack resistance, stiffness, ultimate strength, and impact and thermal shock resistance.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 The technology described in this application was developed, in part, under a Small Business Innovative Research Grant from the US Department of Energy--Grant # DE-FG02-01ER83194.