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Title: Role of segregation and precipitates on interfacial strengthening mechanisms in metal matrix composites when subjected to thermo-mechanical processing
Author: Myriounis, Dimitrios
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 4157
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2009
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Metal Matrix ceramic-reinforced composites are rapidly becoming strong candidates as structural materials for many high temperatures and aerospace applications. Metal matrix composites combine the ductile properties of the matrix with a brittle phase of the reinforcement, leading to high stiffness and strength with a reduction in structural weight. The main objective of using a metal matrix composite system is to increase service temperature or improve specific mechanical properties of structural components by replacing existing superalloys. The satisfactory performance of metal matrix composites depends critically on their integrity, the heart of which is the quality of the matrix-reinforcement interface. The nature of the interface depends on the processing of the metal matrix composite component. At the micro-level the development of local stress concentration gradients around the ceramic reinforcement, as the metal matrix attempts to deform during processing, can be very different to the nominal conditions and play a crucial role in important microstructural events such as segregation and precipitation at the matrix-reinforcement interface. These events dominate the cohesive strength and subsequent mechanical properties of the interface. At present the relationship between the strength properties of metal matrix composites and the details of the thermo-mechanical forming processes is not well understood. The purpose of the study is to investigate several strengthening mechanisms and the effect of thermo-mechanical processing of SiCp reinforced A359 aluminium alloy composites on the particle-matrix interface and the overall mechanical properties of the material. From experiments performed on composite materials subjected to various thermo-mechanical conditions and by observation using SEM microanalysis and mechanical testing, data were obtained, summarised and mathematically/statistically analysed upon their significance. The Al/SiCp composites studied, processed in specific thermo-mechanical conditions in order to attain higher values of interfacial fracture strength, due to precipitation hardening and segregation mechanisms, also exhibited enhanced bulk mechanical and fracture resistant properties. An analytical model to predict the interfacial fracture strength in the presence of material segregation was also developed during this research effort. Its validity was determined based on the data gathered from the experiments. The tailoring of the properties due to the microstructural modification of the composites was examined in relation to the experimental measurements obtained, which define the macroscopical behaviour of the material.
Supervisor: Matikas, Theodore ; Hassan, Syed Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available