Analysis of stress-strain, fracture, and ductility behavior of aluminum matrix composites containing discontinuous silicon carbide reinforcement
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Mechanical properties and stress-strain behavior were evaluated for several types of commercially fabricated aluminum matrix composites, containing up to 40 vol pct discontinuous SiC whisker, nodule, or particulate reinforcement. The elastic modulus of the composites was found to be isotropic to be independent of type of reinforcement, and to be controlled solely by the volume percentage of SiC reinforcement present. The yield/tensile strengths and ductility were controlled primarily by the matrix alloy and temper condition. Type and orientation of reinforcement had some effect on the strengths of composites, but only for those in which the whisker reinforcement was highly oriented. Ductility decreased with increasing reinforcement content; however, the fracture strains observed were higher than those reported in the literature for this type of composite. This increase in fracture strain was probably attributable to cleaner matrix powder, better mixing, and increased mechanical working during fabrication. Comparison of properties with conventional aluminum and titanium structural alloys showed that the properties of these low-cost, lightweight composites demonstrated very good potential for application to aerospace structures.
KeywordsMetallurgical Transaction Ultimate Tensile Strength Matrix Alloy Failure Strain Reinforcement Content
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