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EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF ALUMINIUM AND STAINLESS STEEL METAL MATRIX COMPOSITE

ABSTRACT

The aluminium composites are widely used in various applications. Aluminium (Al1060) has some major utilization in engineering filed so, Al1060 is concentrated in the project.Aluminium is a soft material and wears easily. It is very temperature sensitive and expands and contracts with temperature change.Aluminium is widely used because it is light weight, flexible and has improved strength.This work is focused on improve the tensile strength of metal matrix composite. Al1060 is selected in this project because of its various advantages.The reinforcement is given in unidirectional. To increase the strength of aluminium plate stainless steel wire is used as reinforcement. Therefore the Aluminium alloy matrix of Al1060 is added to stainless steel of AlSI304 as fibre. The 3mm thick aluminium plate has to be kept one above and one below. The stainless steel wire (AlSI1304) 0.7mm diameter has to be kept in the grooved path. The laminated composite has aluminium alloy of Al1060 and unidirectional continuous stainless steel fibre of AISI304 as metal matrix.The unidirectional fibre is increased the aluminium martial matrix. As these fibres where placed in between the grooves to obtain uniform distribution of reinforcements.

By the method of diffusion bonding the metal matrix composite is manufactured. It is observed that under 270-280 C the proper diffusion bonding is obtained.From this study it is concluded that pressure, time, temperature playsan important role in diffusion bonding. In the tensile test for the metal matrix composite the various results like the stress strain behaviour, tensile strength, load at yield point, Load at peak, Yield stress, Elongation at yield,Elongation at peak, percentage of elongation were observed experimentally and the results were compared with ANSYS for validation.

1.Introduction to AMCs
1.1 Composites

The possibility of taking advantage of particular properties of the constituent materials to meet specific demands is the most important motivation for the development of composites. A composite is a material made with several different constituents intimately bonded. This definition is very large, and includes a lot of materials such as the Roman ways (constituted of different layers of stones, chalk and sand), wood, human body etc... A more restrictive definition is used by industries and materials scientists: a composite is a material that consists of constituents produced via a physical combination of pre-existing ingredient materials to obtain a new material with unique properties when compared to the monolithic material properties. This definition distinguishes a composite from other multiphase materials which are produced by bulk processes where one or more phases result from phase transformation ("in-situ" composites).

The terms matrix and reinforcement are often used. The matrix is a percolating softphase (with in general excellent ductility, formability and thermal conductivity) in which are embedded the hard reinforcements (high stiffness and low thermal expansion). The reinforcements can be continuous or discontinuous, orientated or disorientated. The composites are classified by: (1) their matrix (polymer, ceramic, metal), (2) their reinforcement, which includes the chemical nature (oxides, carbides, nitrides), shape (continuous fibers, short fibers, whiskers, particulates) and orientation, (3) their processing routes. 1.2 Aluminium Matrix Composites (AMCs) Aluminium is the most popular matrix for the metal matrix composites (MMCs). The Al alloys are quite attractive due to their low density, their capability to be strengthened by precipitation, their good corrosion resistance, high thermal and electrical conductivity, and their high damping capacity. Aluminium matrix composites (AMCs) have been widely studied since the 1920s and are now used in sporting goods, electronic packaging, armours and automotive industries. They offer a large variety of mechanical properties depending on the chemical composition of the Al-matrix. They are usually reinforced by Al2O3, SiC, C but SiO2, B, BN, B4C, AlN may also be considered. The aluminum matrices are in general Al-Si, Al-Cu, 2xxx or 6xxx alloys. As proposed by the American Aluminum Association the AMCs should be designated by their constituents: accepted designation of the matrix / abbreviation of the reinforcements designation / arrangement and volume fraction in % with symbol of type (shape) of reinforcement. For example, an aluminum alloy AA6061 reinforced by particulates of alumina, 22 % volume fraction, is designated as "AA6061/Al2O3/22p".

In the 1980s, transportation industries began to develop discontinuously reinforcedAMCs. They are very attractive for their isotropic mechanical properties (higher than their unreinforced alloys) and their low costs (cheap processing routes and low prices of some of the discontinuous reinforcement such as SiC particles or Al2O3 short fibers). Among the various and numerous applications [10, 11], a few arbitrary examples, are given in Fig. 2.1: (1) Brake rotors for German high speed train ICE-1 and ICE-2 developed by Knorr Bremse AG and made from a particulate reinforced aluminum alloy (AlSi7Mg+SiC particulates) supplied by Duralcan.

Compared to conventional parts made out of cast iron with120 kg/piece, the 76 kg of the AMC rotor offers an attractive weight saving potential. (2) The braking systems (discs, drums, calipers or back-plate) of the New Lupo from Volkswagen made from particulate reinforced aluminum alloy supplied by Duralcan. (3) AMC continuous fiber reinforced pushrods produced by 3M for racing engines. These pushrods weigh 40% as much as steel, are stronger and stiffer, and have high vibration damping. (4) AMC wires also developed by 3M for the core of a electrical conductors. The unique properties of this type of conductor offer substantial performance benefits when compared to the currently used steel wire reinforced conductors.

1.2 Fabrication of the AMCs

There are many processes viable to fabricate AMCs; they can be classified in: solidstate, liquid-state and deposition processes. In solid-state processes, the most spread method is powder metallurgy PM; it is usually used for high melting point matrices and avoids segregation effects and brittle reaction product formation prone to occur in liquid state processes. This method permits to obtain discontinuously particle reinforced AMCs with the highest mechanical properties . These AMCs are used for military applications but remain limited for large scale productions. In liquid-state processes, one can distinguish the infiltration processes where the reinforcements form a preform which is infiltrated by the alloy melt (1) with pressure applied by a piston (squeeze-casting SQC described in section3.2) or by an inert gas (gas pressureinfiltration GPI) and (2) without pressure. In the last case, one can distinguish (a) the reactive infiltration processes using the wetting between reinforcement and melt obtained by reactive atmosphere, elevated temperature, alloy modification or reinforcement coating (reactive infiltration) and (b) the dispersion processes, such as stir-casting, where the reinforcements are particles stirred into the liquid alloy. Process parameters and alloys are to be adjusted to avoid reaction with particles. In deposition processes, droplets of molten metal are sprayed together with the reinforcing phase and collected on a substrate where the metal solidification is completed. This technique has the main advantage that the matrix microstructure exhibits very fine grain sizes and low

segregation, but has several drawbacks: the technique can only be used with discontinuous reinforcements, the costs are high, and the products are limited to the simple shapes that by obtained by extrusion, rolling or forging.

3. MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF THE AMCS. In this section, the basic mechanical properties are succinctly introduced: elastic, yielding, fracture. The mechanical models and concepts presented in this section will be used to show that the mechanical behaviour of the WFA/Al2O3/sf and WFA/SiC/p composites (section 2.3) cannot be completely understood without deeper microstructural investigations.

3.1 Elasticity Different models exist for the elastic behavior of MMCs. All are based on the assumption of a perfect and intact reinforcement. Let us consider the simplest case of continuous aligned fiber composites with the slab model. The Youngs modulus follows the rule of mixture ROM law:

With the stress, the strain and E the Young modulus, with the subscript m, f, and c for the matrix, fiber and composite respectively.For short orientated fibers, a more elaborated model has been developed by Cox [15] and Kelly [16], the shear lag model. The main idea is the transfer of tensile strength from matrix to reinforcement by means of interfacial shear stresses.If load transfer is assumed at reinforcement ends.

These semi-empirical models are often used for their simple expressions but are very pessimistic for composites with low reinforcement aspect ratios. A more rigorous model has been given by Eshelby [22, 23]. The Eshelby method is exact for ellipsoidal orientated inclusions and is a very good approximation for short fibers or particulate reinforced composites. Without going deeper in the details, it can be said that the method is based on representing the actual inclusion by one made of matrix material which has an appropriate misfit strain so that the stress field is the same as for the inclusion. It expresses the stiffness tensor of the composite in function of the matrix and inclusion ones.

3.2 Yielding / Flow.

The ideal1 AMC stess-strain curve for continuous unidirectional fiber composites (with stress in the fiber direction) is presented in Fig. 2.2. Generally, this curve consists of two stages. During the stage I, both fibre and matrix remain elastic, during stage II, the matrix deforms plastically and fibres remain elastic. There is possibly a stage III where both matrix andfibers deform plastically, but generally the fibres break before their plastic deformation. In the case of short fiber composites, the three stages are degenerated in one, and there is no definable linear region in the composite due to the existence of micro plasticity at the fiber ends and to the random fiber orientation.

The yield stress is defined as the stress at a plastic strain of 0.2% and represents the limitof the elastic behaviour of the composite. Flow stresses are stresses at greater plastic strains. In general the yield stress increases with the fiber volume fraction and a better orientation of the fibers along the tensile axis. The yield stress in compression is in general larger than in traction due to the residual stress caused by the CTE mismatch between the alloy and the fibers. The prediction of yielding and flow behaviour is quite complex. During tensile loading, at a given strain, the stresses in the matrix are expected to be lower than in the unreinforced alloy due to the load transfer to the reinforcements, and therefore the matrix yielding is delayed in comparison with the unreinforced alloy (work hardening caused by the composite structure). The distribution of the reinforcements (orientation and homogeneity) plays a key role is this work hardening. Local plasticity occurs at fibersends during the deformation (an effect accentuated by the thermal residual stresses). This stress concentration can lead to relaxation effects as dislocation motions, diffusion, recrystallization or to more catastrophic effects such as inclusion fracture, interfacial debonding and matrix cavitation.

Some of these effects can be taken into account in the continuous models presented in section 2.2.1 or in finite elements models FEMs.However, these models remain not very accurate to predict the yield and flow stresses of composites (underestimation of the predicted yield stress),particularly for the misoriented short fiber composites. The underestimation can be explained by a matrix hardening as detailed by Taya [7]. The matrix hardening is mainly the consequence of three effects:

(1) smaller grain sizes in the AMC matrix than in the alloy due to the reinforcement tangle. The hardening follows the Hall-Petch law:

4.DIFFUSION BONDING In the last three decades, the development of advanced materials with superior mechanical properties has underpinned rapid progress in manufacturing of new products. The ever increasing demand for high performance materials has spurred research into the development of advanced alloys and composites. Transport industries, particularly aerospace and more recently car manufacturers, have been interested particularly in materials with high strength-to-weight ratios as these can provide significant performance benefits. Since the development of the first heat-treatable aluminium alloy in the early years of this century, aluminium alloys have been of interest because of their high strength-toweightratio, formability, corrosion resistance and long-term durability. The first allaluminiumaeroplane was manufactured in 1920 and since then, despite significant advances in non-metallic composites and titaniumbased materials, aluminium alloys are still the major materials for aerostructures, Staley et al. (1997).

Aluminium metal matrix composites (Al-MMCs) possess even better mechanical properties compared to un-reinforced aluminium alloys (especially their high stiffness, strength and wear resistance). Following the recent development of low cost manufacturing processes, Al- MMCs with silicon carbide or alumina particle reinforcement (i.e. discontinuously reinforced aluminium, DRA) are now available commercially. The use of Al/SiCcomposites has reduced the production costs and improved the performance of aircraft components, Materials Progress (1997). 4.1 Theoretical aspects of solid-state diffusion bonding The aim, when diffusion bonding, is to bring the surfaces of the two pieces being joinedsufficiently close that interdiffusion can result in bond formation. In practice, because of inevitable surface roughness greater than an atomic scale, it is not possible to bring the surfaces of two pieces within interatomic distances by simple contact. Even highly polished surfaces come into contact only at their asperities and the ratio of contacting area to faying area is very low. Thus the mechanism of solid-state diffusion bonding can be classified into two main stages. During the first stage, the asperities on each of the faying surfaces deform plastically as the pressure is applied. These asperities arise from the grinding or polishing marks that have been produced in the surface finishing stage. The microplastic deformation proceeds until the localised effective stress at the contact area becomes less than the yield strength of the material at the bonding temperature. In fact, initial contact occurs between the oxide layers that cover the faying surfaces. As the deformation of asperities proceeds, more metal-to-metal contact is

established because of local disruption of the relatively brittle oxide films which generally fracture readily. At the end of the first stage, the bonded area is less than 10% and a large volume of voids and oxide remainsbetween localised bonded regions. In the second stage of bonding, thermally activated mechanisms lead to void shrinkage and this increases further the bonded areas. There are several hypotheses to explain how a bond is formed in the solid state,Kazakov (1985). The Film Hypothesis emphasises the effect of surface film characteristics on the joining process. According to this hypothesis, the observed differences in weldability of various metals are attributed to the different properties of their surface films and all metals are assumed to bond if thoroughly cleaned surfaces are brought together within the range of interatomic forces. A different theory, the Recrystallisation Hypothesis, suggests that the strain hardening of the faying surfacesduring plastic deformation causes atoms to move from one side to the other of the interface at high temperature. Subsequently, new grains grow at the interface and the bond is established. The Electron Hypothesis is based on the formation of a stable electron configuration as a result of metallic bond formation. In the Dislocation Hypothesis, exposure of dislocations to the free surface, as a result of plastic deformation, breaks up the oxide film and produces steps on an atomic scale which enhance the seizure of the joining parts. Finally, the Diffusion Hypothesis, the most commonly accepted hypothesis, considers the contribution of interatomic diffusion during bond formation. The difference in the energy level of surface atoms and of bulk atoms is the basis of this hypothesis.

According to the phase diagram, equilibrium in the liquid can be established by dissolution of A atoms into the supersaturated B-rich liquid to decrease its concentration to CL. During this stage, homogenisation of the liquid phase continues and the width of the liquid zone increases,

see figure 2-3a, until the composition profile in the liquid phase levels out, i.e. diffusion in the liquid ceases. The rate of this homogenisation is controlled mainly by the diffusion coefficient in the liquid phase and, therefore, thisstage takes a short time to be completed. Development of technology gained a great acceleration during the last century. Materials that are procured from nature cannot keep up with this development. Thus, newsearching about materials became compulsory. To meet the material requirements of developing technology, a combined structure is developed which is formed by joining two or more different materials in macro level. This new structure which is called composite material has the superior properties of the materials which form itself. Types and usage areas of composite materials are increasing day by day. Composite plates with aluminium metal matrix show elasto plastic behavior during forming operations. Elastoplasticsituation of the material is characterized as the permanent deformations on the material after elastic region is exceeded and a specific stress value is reached. Initiation of plastic deformation in a composite material is determined by the help of a yield criterion. Residual stresses occur in the material because of the deformations arising from plastic stresses [1, 2]. Daining et al. investigated the elasto plastic stress strain behaviors of metal matrix composite materials using finite element method [3]. Sayman investigated the elastoplasticbehavior of simply supported stainless steel reinforced aluminium metal matrix laminated composite plates under transverse [4] and in plane [5] loads using finite element technique. Sayman stated that composite structure increases yield strength and rigidity. Also it is stated that residual stresses can be used for enhancing mechanical properties. zben and Arslan investigated the elastic and plastic behavior of laminated composite plates under transverse loads using finite element method The objective of this experimental investigation is to produce a metallic matrix hybrid composite using pure aluminum as a base material reinforced with stainless steel and copper wires with different volume fraction. Hot pressing technique of laminated layers of the different constituent was used under various conditions of applied pressure, temperature, and holding time. These parameters deeply control the rate of solid state diffusion that governs the fiber / matrix interface and consequently the final mechanical properties of the obtained composites. Microstructure examination and microanalysis were carried out using scanning electron microscope equipped with energy dispersive x-ray analysis, moreover tensile mechanical properties were determined in each case. Thin continuous and uniform inetrdiffusion zone with optimum mechanical properties under a compaction pressure of 210 MPa at 590 oC for 120 minutes. Moreover fracture micromechanics during incremental monotonic loading proved that the outer plies are subjected to failure at the beginning of damage and then propagation through the inner plies takes place till complete failure. Materials and Experimental Work In this work two main components comprises the adopted composite material, the first is the fibers which provide most of the stiffness and strength while the second component is the matrix that binds the fibers together. Pure aluminum foils with commercial quality were used as a matrix, while copper and austenitic stainless steel fibers with 250 m diameter had been implemented. The chemical compositions of the used materials are illustrated in Tables (1, 2, 3) while their mechanical properties are given in Table (4). The structure of the produced composite consists of 5 plies of pure aluminum where the reinforcement wires were arranged between each successive plies symmetrically around the central foil so that copper wires are located in the core

while the stainless steel wires are arranged near the surface as shown in Fig. (1). A standard tensile specimen according to Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Fiber-Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites shown in Fig. (2) was used for the determination of tensile properties. Hot uniaxial pressing was applied using a hot presstype (SANTEC) with 100 tons maximum pressure under a compaction pressure of 70, 140, 210 MPa respectively for different temperature namely (550, 570, 590) oC and various holding time in the range from 45 to 180 minutes. On the other hand reinforcement volume fraction was taken to be Vf = 5.3 %, 7.85%, 10.45 % and 13.08 % divided equally between the two adopted types of fibers. Furthermore, to follow up the evolution of the damage criterion an incremental stepped uniaxial loading with a step fraction of the ultimate load equal 0.1 was carried. Microstructure evaluation and microanalysis were carried out by usingscanning electron microscope type (SEMA 202) equipped with energy dispersive x-ray analysis. Tensile mechanical properties were determined using a universal tensile testing machine type (INSTRON 8032).