Experimental and numerical study of alumina reinforced aluminum matrix composites: Processing, microstructural aspects and properties
Co-continuous alumina-aluminum composite materials with excellent physical and mechanical properties offer great potentials for lightweight, wear resistant, and high-temperature applications. They combine metallic properties of matrix alloys (ductility and toughness) with ceramic properties of reinforcements (high strength and high modulus), leading to greater strength in shear and compression and higher service-temperature capabilities. Composite materials prepared from a liquid-phase displacement reaction present a unique microstructure in which each phase is a continuous network penetrated by the network of the other constituent. In this study, aluminum-alumina matrix composites reinforced with glass bubbles with low thermal and electrical conductivities are presented. Different characterization techniques were used to determine physical-mechanical properties. Porosity and density measurements were carried out by means of helium gas pycnometer and basic materials parameters were compared such as effect of the sintering process, thermal conductivity, and percentage of the wax. Drop weigh tests, semi static compression tests and also scratch tests were applied to measure the general mechanical and damage behavior of these composites. Microstructural and fracture behavior were evaluated by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). A three dimensional non-linear finite element model was developed for modeling the impact and compression behavior of alumina reinforced aluminum matrix composite materials. For this stage, ABAQUS/Explicit commercial program was used. The finite element results have shown a good correlation with the experimental data in terms of contact-force and energy histories and also deflection phenomena of the alumina reinforced aluminum matrix composites during the impact was observed between the experimental data. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.