Effect of Copper Coating and Reinforcement Orientation on Mechanical Properties of LM6 Aluminium Alloy Composites Reinforced with Steel Mesh by Squeeze Casting
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Uncoated and copper coated steel wire mesh reinforcing LM6 aluminium alloy composites have been produced using squeeze casting process by varying reinforcement orientation viz., 0°, 45° and 90° respectively. Microstructure of the castings has been examined and mechanical properties such as hardness, tensile strength and ductility have been investigated. Fracture surface of tensile specimens has been analysed using field emission scanning electron microscope. Microstructure of samples reveals that copper coating on steel wires improves the interface bonding between matrix and reinforcement. Average hardness values of 259 and 90 Hv have been observed in steel wire and matrix respectively. Tensile strength of composites increases with increasing angle of reinforcement orientation from 0° to 90°. Tensile strength increases up to 11% by reinforcing copper coated steel wire mesh at 90° orientation as compared to LM6 aluminium alloy. Fracture surface of composites shows pullout of steel wires in uncoated steel wire mesh composites and broken wires in copper coated steel wire mesh composites respectively. Dimples have been observed on the fracture surface of LM6 aluminium alloy. In general, copper coated steel wire mesh composites offer better hardness and tensile strength compared to uncoated steel wire mesh composites and LM6 aluminium alloy. This may be attributed to the copper coating on steel wires which results better interface bonding between matrix and reinforcement.
KeywordsLM6 aluminium alloy Steel mesh Microstructure Hardness Tensile strength Ductility
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