Fabrication of Aluminium Matrix Composites (AMCs) by Squeeze Casting Technique Using Carbon Fiber as Reinforcement

Title: Fabrication of Aluminium Matrix Composites (AMCs) by Squeeze Casting Technique Using Carbon Fiber as Reinforcement
Authors: Alhashmy, Hasan
Date: 2012
Abstract: Composites have been developed with great success by the use of fiber reinforcements in metallic materials. Fiber reinforced metal matrices possess great potential to be the next generation of advanced composites offering many advantages compared to fiber reinforced polymers. Specific advantages include high temperature capability, superior environmental stability, better transverse modulus, shear and fatigue properties. Although many Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) are attractive for use in different industrial applications, Aluminium Matrix Composites (AMCs) are the most used in advanced applications because they combine acceptable strength, low density, durability, machinability, availability, effectiveness and cost. The present study focuses on the fabrication of aluminium matrix composite plates by squeeze casting using plain weave carbon fiber preform (AS4 Hexcel) as reinforcement and a matrix of wrought aluminium alloy 1235-H19. The objective is to investigate the process feasibility and resulting materials properties such as hardness at macro- and micro-scale, impact and bend strength. The properties obtained are compared with those of 6061/1235-H19 aluminium plates that were manufactured under the same fabrication conditions. The effect of fiber volume fraction on the properties is also investigated. Furthermore, the characterization of the microstructure is done using Optical Microscopy (OM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) in order to establish relationships between the quality of the fiber/aluminium interface bond and mechanical properties of the composites. In conclusion, aluminium matrix composite laminate plates were successfully produced. The composites show a good chemical bond between the fiber and the aluminium matrix. This bond resulted from heterogeneous precipitation of aluminium carbides (Al4C3) at the interface between aluminium matrix and carbon fiber. The hardness at macro- and micro-scale of the composites increases by over 50% and the flexural modulus increases by about 55%. The toughness of the composite decreases due to the presence of brittle phases which can be improved by better oxidation prevention. Also, an optimal carbon volume fraction was observed that provides optimal properties including peak hardness, peak stiffness and peak toughness.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23120
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -