Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 42, Issue 12, pp 4215–4226 | Cite as

Strengthening mechanism of load sharing of particulate reinforcements in a metal matrix composite

  • Bernie Yaping ZongEmail author
  • Fang Zhang
  • Gang Wang
  • Liang Zuo


A 15 v% SiC particle reinforced Al-2618 matrix composite was selected to study strengthening mechanisms under different heat treatments to produce specimens in hard or soft matrices. The investigation showed that the conventional micro-mechanism models play a minor role in strengthening the composite by further addition of the SiC particles. A load sharing mechanism of the particulate reinforcements is suggested to explain the experimental yield strength increase. An analytical model based on Eshelby equivalent inclusion approach and Mori–Tanaka mean field extension was established by introducing numerical matrix and composite secant moduli to simulate the stress–strain curve of the composite. The same modeling work was also carried out by FEM analysis based on the unit cell model using a commercial ANSYS code. The modeling results by both models on evolution of the load carried by the SiC particles during straining provide strong evidences to back up the strengthening mechanism of the load sharing. However, the modeling work exposes that the load transfer mechanism plays a dominant role only for the composite with hard matrix and the reason for load transfer is mainly the mismatch strain between particulate reinforcement and matrix rather than commonly believed friction at their interfaces. Nevertheless, an experiment was used to estimate average stress level in the SiC particles by observation of the numbers of broken particles in the composite with different strains, which also offers a good support to the modeling work.


Matrix Alloy Particulate Reinforcement Finite Element Method Model Secant Modulus Soft Matrix 



The authors would like to acknowledge Natural Science Foundation of China for the financial support by the grant 50471024 and 50171018, and Education Ministry of China for an outstanding teacher research fund to this study. We would like to thank Dr B. Derby, UMIST, for his courage to initiate this study. Some student work from Minzhao TAN, Huiqing Liu and Yajuan Zhao are also acknowledged under their agreement.


  1. 1.
    Humphreys FJ, Basu A, Djazeb MR, In: Hansen N (ed) Proceedings of the 12th Risφ international synposium on material science, Denmark, 1991, N (Roskilde, Denmark, 1991) p 51Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hirch JP (1991) Scripta mater 1:25Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zong BY, Derby B (1996) J Mater Sci 297:31Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Arsenault RJ, Fisher RM (1983) Scripta Mater 67:17Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Orowan E (1948) Symposium on internal stresses, Inst. Met., London, p 451Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Xue Z, Huang Y, Li M (2002) Acta Mater 50:149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hong S, Kim H, Huh D, Suryanarayana C (2003) Mater Sci Eng A 347:198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cox HL (1952) Brit J Appl Phys 73:3Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mura T (2000) Mater Sci Eng A 285:224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Christensen RM (1990) J Mech Phys Sol 38:379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pettermann HE, Plankensteiner AF, Bőhm HJ, Rammerstorfer FG (1999) Comput Struct 71:197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Withers PJ, Stobbs WM, Pedersen OB (1989) Acta Metall 37:3061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mochida T, Taya M, Lloyd DJ (1991) Mater Trans JIM 32:931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Clyne TW, Withers PJ (1993) In: “An introduction to metal matrix composites. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 198 Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    You JH, Poznansky O, Bolt H (2003) Mater Sci Eng A 344:201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Roatta A, Bolmaro RE (1997) Mater Sci Eng A 229:182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Benediskt B, Rupnowski P, Kumosa M (2003) Acta Mater 51:3483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhao YH, Weng GJ (1996) Int J Plasticity 12:781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Christman T, Needleman A, Suresh S (1989) Acta Metall 37:3029CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shen H, Lissenden CJ (2002) Mater Sci Eng A 338:271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Farrissey L, Schmauder S, Dong M, Soppa E, Poech MH (1999) Computational Mater Sci 15:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Andrews EW, Giannakopoulos AE, Plisson E, Suresh S (2002) Int J Solids Struct 39:281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Segurado J, González C, Llorca J (2003) Acta Mater 51:2355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pardoen T, Hutchinson JW (2003) Acta Mater 51:133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Fitzpatrick ME, Withers PJ, Baczmanski A, Hutchings MT, Levy R, Ceretti M, Lodini A (2002) Acta Mater 50:1031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Nugent EE, Calhoun RB, Mortensen A (2000) Acta mater 48:1451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ganguly P, Poole WJ (2003) Mater Sci Eng A 352:46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zong BY, Derby B (1997) Acta mater 45:41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Mori T, Tanaka K (1973) Metall 23:571Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Brown LM, Stobbs WM (1971) Phil Mag 23:1185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Zong BY, Guo X, Derby B (1999) Mater Sci Tech 15:827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Eshelby JD (1957) Proc R Soc A 241:376Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kitazono K, Sato E, Kuribayashi K (2002) J Jpn Inst Metals 66:53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Zong BY, Lawrence CW, Derby B (1997) Scripta Mater 37:1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernie Yaping Zong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fang Zhang
    • 1
  • Gang Wang
    • 1
  • Liang Zuo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina

Personalised recommendations