Spark Plasma Sintering of Aluminum-Magnesium-Matrix Composites with Boron Carbide and Tungsten Nano-powder Inclusions: Modeling and Experimentation
Spark-plasma sintering (SPS) is used to fabricate fully-dense metal–matrix (Al/Mg) composites containing hard ceramic (boron carbide) and refractory metal (tungsten) inclusions. The study objectives include the modeling (and its experimental verification) of the process of the consolidation of the composites consisted of aluminum-magnesium alloy AMg6 (65 wt.%), B4C powder (15 wt.%), and W nano-powder (20 wt.%), as well as the optimization of the composite content and of the SPS conditions to achieve higher density. Discrete element modeling of the composite particles packing based on the particle size distribution functions of real powders is utilized for the determination of the powder compositions rendering maximum mixture packing densities. Two models: a power-law creep model of the high temperature deformation of powder materials, and an empirical logarithmic pressure–temperature–relative density relationship are successfully applied for the description of the densification of the aluminum-magnesium metal matrix powder composite subjected to spark-plasma sintering. The elastoplastic properties of the sintered composite samples are assessed by nanoindentation.
The work has been supported by the RF Ministry of Education and Science, Project RFMEFI57514X0003, by the State Program “Science”, Project#533 and by TPU Grant IFVT_85_2014. The support of the San Diego State University researcher by the US Department of Energy, Materials Sciences Division, under Award No. DE-SC0008581 is gratefully acknowledged.
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