STP907: Interface Studies of Aluminum Metal Matrix Composites

    Fu, L-J
    The University of Texas, Austin, TX

    Schmerling, M
    The University of Texas, Austin, TX

    Marcus, HL
    The University of Texas, Austin, TX

    Professor of Mechanical Engineering,

    Pages: 22    Published: Jan 1986


    Abstract

    In both continuous- and discontinuous-fiber aluminum metal matrix composites (MMC) the interface plays a major role in fracture. The interface chemistry and crystallography of both graphite/aluminum continuous-fiber and silicon carbide/aluminum (SiC/Al) discontinuous-fiber MMCs were observed on ion beam thinned specimens in the transmission electron microscope (TEM). The fracture mode and fracture surface chemistry of SiC/Al MMCs were investigated with the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) combined with inert ion sputtering. The materials investigated were representative of the discontinuous-fiber SiC/Al composite (ARCO, SILAG) and the particulate SiC/Al composites (DWA) at the time of the study.

    The TEM results show that an oxide is present at some of the SiC/Al interfaces, often in the form of γ-Al2O3 (along with MgAl2O4 when the aluminum matrix contains magnesium). The fracture path is not dominated by the interfacial failure but is primarily a matrix failure path. The more ductile the matrix, the less interfacial fracture. The large volume fraction of silicon carbide plays a major role in the fracture behavior by influencing the localized volume of material being deformed. Some of the fracture energy may have been reduced due to prior formation of dislocation networks due to thermal coefficient of expansion mismatch between the silicon carbide and the aluminum matrices. These networks were not apparent in the particulate SiC/Al MMC.

    Both fine-grained γ-Al2O3 and small amounts of coarse-grained Al4C3 were found in the interfaces of the as-received graphite/aluminum composite specimens. During heat treatment, some of the Al4C3 phase grows into and along the graphite fiber surface.

    Keywords:

    aluminum, composite materials, fracture, heat treatment


    Paper ID: STP19979S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D30.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19979S


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