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Title: Processing of bulk hierarchical metal-metal composites
Author: Kelly, Aoife
ISNI:       0000 0004 2728 4947
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Spray forming with co-injection of a solid particulate phase to form a metal-metal composite has been studied as a new route for manufacture. Two Al-based matrices were investigated: Al-12Si for testing the feasibility of the new manufacturing route and Al-4Cu for providing better mechanical performance. For both composite types, Ti was chosen as the particulate phase and the processing-microstructure-property relationships then studied. At Peak Werkstoff GmbH, Germany 12 wt%Ti particles were co-injected into an atomised Al alloy droplet spray and co-deposited to form a ∼300 kg billet. The microstructure comprised refined equiaxed α-Al grains (∼5μm), spherical Si particles (∼5μm) and uniformly distributed Ti particles (∼80μm). Sections of the billet were extruded under a range of conditions into long strips 20mm wide and 6mm, 2.5mm and 1mm thickness. At high strains, the Ti particles were deformed into continuous fibres of a few microns in thickness. Accumulative roll bonding was then performed to higher total strains, while maintaining a constant cross-section, reducing the Ti fibres to sub-micron thickness. The fibres were studied by extraction after selective dissolution of the α-Al matrix. There was no interfacial reaction between α-Al and Ti or any measurable oxide formation, thus providing encouragement for the manufacture of metal-metal composites by co-spray forming. A powder injection pump was successfully integrated and commissioned on the spray forming facility at Oxford University. The pump was calibrated to optimise powder flow rates. Three Al-4Cu+Ti composite billets were processed with each containing Ti powder with a different processing history. Up to 20vol%Ti was successfully incorporated, however due to the cooling effect from powder injection, porosity was significant. The quenching effect provided a finer Al-4Cu grain structure in the region of Ti injection, and also promoted precipitation of θ'-Al2Cu precipitates. A Ti/Al-4Cu interfacial reaction was more prominent in the billet spray formed at 850°C than those spray formed at 750°C. Angular Ti processed by a hydride-dehydride route had better deformation characteristics than spherical gas atomised Ti. Deformation processing by extrusion and rolling was investigated for Al-4Cu+20vol%Ti using SEM, EBSD and FIB. After extrusion to a strain of 5, the composite contained elongated reinforcing fibres characteristic of metal-metal composites. The microstructure studied by EBSD revealed equiaxed polygonal Al-4Cu matrix grains. Rolling was not as efficient as extrusion in producing elongated Ti fibres and was attributed to a lower deformation processing temperature. The rolled composites consisted of elongated Al-4Cu grains 1-5μm in thickness. An UTS of 339MPa at a strain of 3 was attributed to texture strengthening in the α-Al.
Supervisor: Grant, Patrick ; Smith, George ; Galano, Marina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Metallurgy ; Materials Sciences ; Spray processing