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METAL MATRIX COMPOSITES (MMCs) are metals that are reinforced with fibers or particles that usually are stiff, strong, and lightweight. The fibers and particles can be metal (e.g., tungsten), nonmetal (e.g., carbon or boron), or ceramic (e.g., silicon carbide (SiC) or (alumina) Al2O3). The purpose for reinforcing metals with fibers or particles is to create composites that have properties more useful than that of the individual constituents. For example, fibers and particles are used in MMCs to increase stiffness , strength , and thermal conductivity , and to reduce weight , thermal expansion , friction , and wear .
Associate Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI