Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 29, Issue 17, pp 4523–4534 | Cite as

Influence of microstructure on the strength of Nicalon-reinforced aluminium metal-matrix composites

  • A. R. Chapman
  • S. M. Bleay
  • V. D. Scott


The microstructure and mechanical properties of two aluminium-based composites reinforced with Nicalon fibre are investigated. During composite processing, aluminium carbide forms at the interface as a result of a reaction between aluminium and free carbon in the fibre. Magnesium, when present in the aluminium matrix, diffuses into the outer (~ 200 nm) layer of the fibre where it reacts with the silicon oxycarbide constituent to form magnesium-containing oxide and also to free carbon for the production of more interfacial aluminium carbide. These chemical reactions affect to differing degrees the strength of a fibre, as measured after extraction from the two composites, and influence the respective fibre/matrix interfacial friction stress and composite strength. A simple rule-of-mixtures approach based upon the measured strength of extracted fibres gave some agreement with longitudinal properties of the composite, but treatment of the fibres as bundles, using a Weibull probability distribution of properties, provided more accurate predictions.


Aluminium Matrix Measured Strength Free Carbon Friction Stress Interfacial Friction 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Chapman
    • 1
  • S. M. Bleay
    • 1
  • V. D. Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Materials ScienceBath UniversityBathUK

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