Mechanical behavior of rapidly solidified Al-Al2Cu and Al-Al3Ni composites
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The eutectic alloys Al-Al2Cu and Al-Al3Ni have been unidirectionally solidified at rates from 1.05 to 6.80 in, per min by a semicontinuous casting technique, and then tested in tension at room temperature. In both alloys the flow stress and ultimate tensile strength increased with increasing solidification rate, except for the highest solidification rate. The increases in matrix work-hardening rate with solidification rate were too great to be accounted for by dislocation pileup mechanisms, but were found to correlate with elastic constraint effects of the matrix aluminum phase by the reinforcing phases. In the Al-Al2Cu eutectic the strength of the Al2Cu platelets increased as the platelet width decreased with increasing growth rate. Misalignment of the composite caused by either a cellular or a macroscopically concave solid-liquid interface resulted in a decrease in the ultimate strength, especially in the rod-like Al-Al3Ni alloy. This has been related to the fracture behavior of the composites. The very low fracture toughness of the lamellar Al-Al2Cu eutectic is consistent with models of composite materials, and seriously limits the alloy’s usefulness for engineering applications.
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