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In the field of material science and engineering, there is a great impact ever since the invention of
composites materials. High strength and lightweight remainthe winning combination that propels
composite materials into new arenas. Thecomposite materials replace conventional materials like steel,
cast iron andaluminum alloys by its superficial properties. As literatures were collected, it could be found
that metal matrix composites are under serious consideration as potentialcandidate materials. To replace
conventional materials in aerospace and automotiveapplications. In this project, composites based on
aluminum alloy (Al 2024)reinforced with 10% volume fraction of Silicon Carbide Particulates (SiC) and 5
%volume fraction of Graphite particles is produced by stir casting method. Thefabricated composite is
tested in order to find its properties and the specimen isanalyzed using Ansys software version 10.0. in
order to study on cracks.


In an advanced society like ours we all depend on composite materials insome aspect of our lives. Fiber
glass, developed in the late 1940s, was the firstmodern composite and is still the most common. It makes
up about 65 per cent of allthe composites produced today and is used for boat hulls, surfboards,
sportinggoods, swimming pool linings, building panels and car bodies. Composites exist innature. A piece
of wood is a composite, with long fibers of cellulose (a verycomplex form of starch) held together by a
much weaker substance called lignin.Cellulose is also found in cotton and linen, but it is the binding
power of the ligninthat makes a piece of timber much stronger than a bundle of cotton fibres.
Inengineering materials, composites are formed by coatings, internal adhesives andlaminating. An
important metal composite is clad metals. Thermostatic controls aremade by roll-bonding a high
expansion alloy such as copper to a low expansionalloy like steel. When the composite is heated it will
deflect to open electricalcontacts. Ply wood is a similarly common composite. Since wood is weaker in
itstransverse direction than its long direction, the alternating grain in plywoodovercomes the transverse
deficiency.Humans have been using composite materials for thousands of years. Thegreatest advantage
of composite materials is strength and stiffness combined withlightness. In Modern aviation, both
military and civil would be much less efficientwithout composites. In fact, the demands made by that
industry for materials that are both light and strong has been the main force driving the development of
composites. The airframes of some smaller aircraft are made entirely from

composites, as are the wing, tail and body panels of large commercial aircraft.Composites can be molded
into complex shapes. Another advantage of compositematerials is that they provide design flexibility.
Over recent decades many newcomposites have been developed, some with very valuable properties.
There arevarieties of composites that can be manufactured according to the requirements of desired
properties for a particular application.Composites as a class of engineering materials provide almost
unlimited potential for higher strength, stiffness and corrosion resistance over pure materialsystems of
metals, ceramics and polymers. This will probably be “the steels” of thenext century.Composite materials
are formed by combining two or more materials thathave quite different properties. The different
materials work together to give thecomposite unique properties, but within the composite the materials
can bedifferentiated since they do not dissolve or blend into each other. Composites aremade up of two
materials namely matrix and reinforcement. The matrix or binder surrounds and binds together a cluster
of fibres or fragments of the stronger material(reinforcement).

In Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs), ceramics or metals in form of fibres, whiskers or particles used to
reinforce in a metal matrix. Most commonlyused matrixes are aluminum, magnesium, copper, titanium
and zinc. The mostcommonly used reinforcements are silicon carbide, alumina, boron, graphite and
flyash. The strengthening effect of the reinforcements in composites depends on theorientation of the
reinforcements to the direction of the loads.

The objectives of this project are

•To fabricate Metal matrix composites with the base metal as Aluminumreinforced with a Volume of 10
% of Silicon carbide particulates and 5 % of graphite particulates by Stir casting method.
•To study the cracks using Ansys version 10.0 software



The Al metal matrix composites offer wide range of properties suitablefor a large number of engineering
applications. Sufficient literatures are available ondifferent aspects of tribology and machining of
conventional metals and alloys butlimited literature are available for reinforced metal matrix
composites.Aluminum-Silicon (Al--Si) casting alloys are the most versatile of allcommon foundry cast
alloys in the production of pistons for automotive engines.Depending on the Si concentration in weight
percent, the Al--Si alloy systems fallinto three major categories: hypoeutectic (<12 wt % Si), eutectic (12-
13 wt % Si)and hypereutectic (14-25 wt % Si). However, commercial applications for hypereutectic alloys
are relatively limited because they are among the most difficultAl alloys to cast and machine due to the
high Si contents.When high Si content is alloyed into Al, it adds a large amount of heatcapacity that must
be removed from the alloy to solidify it during a castingoperation. Significant variation in the sizes of the
primary Si particles can be found between different regions of the cast article, resulting in a significant
variation in themechanical properties for the cast article. The primary crystals of Si must be refinedin
order to achieve hardness and good wear resistance. On the other hand, the usageof hypoeutectic and
eutectic alloys are very popular for the industry, because theyare more economical to produce by
casting, simpler to control the cast parameters,and easier to machine than hypereutectic. However, most
of them are not suitable for high temperature applications, such as in the automotive field, for the
reason thattheir mechanical properties, such as tensile strength, are not as high as desired in
thetemperature range of 500° F.-700° F. Current state-of-the-art hypoeutectic andeutectic alloys are
intended for applications at temperatures of not higher than about450° F. The undesirable
microstructure and phase transformation results indrastically reduced mechanical properties, more
particularly the ultimate tensilestrength and high cycle fatigue strengths, for hypoeutectic and eutectic
Al--Si alloys.One approach taken by the art is to use ceramic fibres or ceramic particulates to increase the
strength of hypoeutectic and eutectic Al--Si alloys. Thisapproach is known as the aluminum Metal Matrix
Composites (MMC) technology.For example, R. Bowles has used ceramic fibres to improve tensile
strength of ahypoeutectic 332.0 alloy, in a paper entitled, "Metal Matrix Composites Aid
PistonManufacture," Manufacturing Engineering, May 1987.Moreover, A. Shakesheff has used ceramic
particulate for reinforcinganother type of hypoeutectic A359 alloy, as described in "Elevated
TemperaturePerformance of Particulate Reinforced Aluminum Alloys," Materials ScienceForum, Vol. 217-
222, pp. 1133-1138 (1996).In a similar approach, cast aluminum MMC for pistons using eutecticalloy
such as the 413.0 type, has been described by P. Rohatgi in a paper entitled,"Cast Aluminum Matrix
Composites for Automotive Applications," Journal of Metals, April 1991.Vikram Singh and R.C. Prasad has
fabricated and analyzed the tensile andfracture behavior of 6061 Al-SiCp metal matrix Composite by
reinforcing with 5%,10% and 15 volume % SiC particles. Vidya Sagar Avadutala has analyzed the cracksin
composite materials (aluminum and low carbon steel) using Ansys.



3.1 COMPOSITE MATERIALSComposite material

is a material composed of two or more distinct phases (matrix phase and dispersed phase) and having
bulk properties significantlydifferent from those of any of the constituents.Matrix phase is the primary
phase having a continuous character. Matrixis usually more ductile and is a less hard phase. It holds the
dispersed phase andshares a load with it.The second phase (or phases) is embedded in the matrix in
adiscontinuous form. This secondary phase is called dispersed phase. Dispersed phaseis usually stronger
than the matrix, therefore it is sometimes called reinforcing phase.Many of common materials (metal
alloys, doped Ceramics and Polymersmixed with additives) also have a small amount of dispersed phases
in their structures, however they are not considered as composite materials since their properties are
similar to those of their base constituents.


There are two classification systems of composite materials. One of themis based on the matrix material
and the second is based on the material structure.


One commonly used classification of composites is based on matrix used based on the base matrix
composites can be divided into three main groups:I.Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs)II.Ceramic Matrix
Composites (CMCs)III.Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) POLYMER MATRIX COMPOSITESPolymer Matrix Composite (PMC)

is material consisting of polymer (resin) matrix combined with a fibrous reinforcing dispersed phase.
Polymer MatrixComposites are very popular due to their low cost and simple fabrication methods.Use of
non-reinforced polymers as structure materials is limited by low level of their mechanical properties. For
example the tensile strength of one of the strongest polymers - epoxy resin is 20000 psi (140 MPa). In
addition to relatively lowstrength, polymer materials possess low impact resistance. Two types of
polymersare used as matrix materials for fabrication composites. Thermosets (epoxies, phenolics) and
Thermoplastics (Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), High DensityPolyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene,
nylon, acrylics).

According to the reinforcement material, the groups of Polymer MatrixComposites (PMC) used are
Fibreglasses, Carbon Fibres, and Kevlar. Reinforcingfibres may be arranged in the form of Unidirectional
fibres, Ravings, Veil mat,Chopped strands, Woven fabric. CERAMIC MATRIX COMPOSITESCeramic Matrix Composite (CMC)

is material consisting of a ceramicmatrix combined with a ceramic (oxides, carbides) dispersed phase.
Ceramic MatrixComposites are designed to improve toughness of conventional ceramics, the
maindisadvantage of which is brittleness. Ceramic Matrix Composites are reinforced byeither continuous
(long) fibres or discontinuous (short) fibres. These composites aremainly used for high temperature
applications and in electronic industries. METAL MATRIX COMPOSITESMetal Matrix Composite


is material consisting of a metallicmatrix combined with a ceramic (oxides, carbides) or metallic (lead,
tungsten,molybdenum) dispersed phase. Most commonly used matrixes are aluminium,magnesium,
copper, titanium and zinc. The most commonly used reinforcements aresilicon carbide, alumina, boron,
graphite and fly ash. Development of these materialsis a subject of great interest as they offer attractive
combination of physical andmechanical properties, which cannot be obtained in monolithic alloys.


Based on the material structure composites are classified into1.Particulate composites2.Fibrous

composites3.Laminate composites PARTICULATE COMPOSITES

Particulate Composites consist of a matrix reinforced by a dispersed phase in form of particles.Figure 3.1
Particulate CompositeThese particles are sometimes divided into two subclasses:

a)Composites with random orientation of particles.

It is a structure filled with one or more additional materials.

b)Composites with preferred orientation of particles.

Dispersed phase of these materials consists of two-dimensional flat platelets(flakes), laid parallel to each
other.Effect of the dispersed particles on the composite properties depends onthe particles dimensions.
Very small particles (less than 0.25 micron in diameter)finely distributed in the matrix impede movement
of dislocations and deformation of the material. Such strengthening effect is similar to the precipitation
hardening. Incontrast to the precipitation hardening, which disappears at elevated temperatureswhen
the precipitated particles dissolve in the matrix, dispersed phase of particulatecomposites (ceramic
particles) is usually stable at high temperatures, so thestrengthening effect is retained. Many of
composite materials are designed to work in high temperature applications. Large dispersed phase
particles have low

strengthening effect but they are capable to share load applied to the material,resulting in increase of
stiffness and decrease of ductility. Hard particles dispersed ina softer matrix increase wear and abrasion
resistance. Soft dispersed particles in aharder matrix improve machinability (lead particles in steel or
copper matrix) andreduce coefficient of friction (tin in aluminium matrix or lead in copper matrix). FIBROUS COMPOSITES

They are composed of reinforced fibres in matrix. They are further classified as Short –fibres and long-
fibres reinforced composites.

1.Short-fibres reinforced composites:

Short-fibres reinforced composites consist of a matrix reinforced by adispersed phase in form of

discontinuous fibres (length < 100*diameter).Figure 3.2 Short Fibres Reinforced Composite

1.Composites with random orientation of fibres.

2.Composites with preferred orientation of fibres.

2.Long-fibres reinforced composites:

Long-fibres reinforced composites consist of a matrix reinforced by adispersed phase in form of

continuous fibres.Figure 3.3 Long Fibres Reinforced Composite

1.Unidirectional orientation of fibres.

2.Bidirectional orientation of fibres (woven).The length of a fiber affects the properties of the composites
and also its processing characteristics. Generally continuous fibres are easier to handle thanshort fibres.
The fiber reinforced composites are of interest in aerospace applicationswhere weight saving is of great

Laminate composites consist of layers with different anisotropicorientations or of a matrix reinforced

with a dispersed phase in form of sheets.When a fibres reinforced composite consists of several layers
withdifferent fibres orientations, it is called multilayer (angle-ply) composite.

Laminate composites provide increased mechanical strength in twodirections and only in one direction,
perpendicular to the preferred orientations of the fibres or sheet, mechanical properties of the material
are low. The best exampleof laminar composite is plywood.


Hybrid materials and composites form the key to successful developmentof next-generation aerospace
propulsion and power systems. Metal-matrixcomposites play a significant role in the development of
future aerospacecomponents. These materials are not only resistant to high temperatures, but also
provide significant improvements in weight specific mechanical and thermal properties.Aluminum is the
most attractive non-ferrous matrix material extensivelyused particularly in the aerospace industry where
weight of structural components iscrucial

The low density and high specific mechanical properties of aluminum metalmatrix composites (MMC)
make these alloys one of the most interesting materialalternatives for the manufacture of lightweight
parts for many types of vehicles.With wear resistance and strength equal to cast-iron, 67% lower density
and threetimes the thermal conductivity, aluminum MMC alloys are ideal materials for themanufacture
of lightweight automotive and other commercial parts. The majority of effort in aluminum matrix
composites has been directed toward development of high performance composites, with very high
strengths and module, for use in specializedaerospace applications. However, there are a number of
other applications in aircraftengines and aerospace structures where these very high properties may not
berequired, and where it could be cost effective to use other metal matrix composites.For example cost,
weight, and stiffness-critical components, such as engine staticstructures, do not require the very high
directional properties available withcomposites reinforced with aligned continuous fibres. For these
reasons, efforts wereinitiated to assess the potential of applying low cost aluminum matrix composites
tothese structures, using low-cost reinforcements and low-cost composite fabrication processes,
including powder metallurgy, direct casting, and hot molding techniques.Cryogenically processed
automobile components like brake rotors, gears, piston, connecting rods, engines and machine parts,
tools and gun barrels showsignificant extension in the performance and productive life. The metallurgy
behindcryogenic processing is that it creates a large amount of fine or small carbides that precipitate
uniformly throughout the lattice structure, closes and refines grainstructures. Treated piston rings seal
better against treated cylinder walls reducing blow-by and increasing horsepower. Cylinder blocks do not
distort and cylinder bores stay straight and smooth when subjected to heat and vibration.

Application of SiC/Al Composites to Aircraft Engine and Aerospace Structures

Studies show that these low cost SiC/Al matrix composites demonstrateda good potential for application
to aerospace structures and aircraft enginecomponents. The composites are formable with normal
aluminum metal-workingtechniques and equipment at warm working temperatures. They can also be
madedirectly into structural shapes during fabrication.These composites merit additional work to
determine fatigue, long-termstability, and thermal cycle behavior to characterize more fully their
properties andallow their consideration for structural design for a variety of aircraft and
spacecraftapplications.The most significant aspect of these data was the increase in modulusover that of
competitive aluminum alloys. At 20 % vol reinforcement, the modulusof SiC/Al composites was about
50% above that of aluminum and approached thatof titanium. This increase in modulus was achieved
with a material having a densityone-third less than that of titanium. Comparison of the properties of the
variouscomposites shows that the modulus/density ratio of 20 vol % SiC/Al composites wasabout 50%
greater than that of Al or Ti alloys, while at 30 vol % SiC the advantagewas increased to about 70% and at
40 vol % SiC the modulus was almost double thatof unreinforced Al or Ti structural alloys


Strength is maximum. Properties of the matrix and the composition of theConventional monolithic
materials have limitations in terms of achievablecombinations of strength, stiffness, coefficient of
expansion and density. MMCshave emerged as an important class of advanced materials giving
engineers theopportunity to tailor the material properties according to their needs. A Metal
matrixcomposite is an engineered combination of two or more materials (one of which is ametal) in
which tailored properties are achieved by systematic combination of different constituents. MMC's
desirable properties result from the presence of small,high strength ceramic particles, whiskers or fibres
uniformly distributed throughoutthe aluminum alloy matrix. Aluminum MMC castings are economically
competitivewith iron and steel castings in many cases. However the presence of these wear resistant
particles significantly reduces the machinability of the alloys, makingmachining costs higher due mainly
to increased tool wear. As a result, theapplication of cast MMCs to components requiring a large amount
of secondarymachining has been somewhat stifled.Development of these materials is a subject of great
interest as they offer attractive combination of physical and mechanical properties, which cannot
beobtained in monolithic alloys. Essentially, these materials differ from theconventional engineering
materials from the point of homogeneity.
The major advantages of MMCs compared to unreinforced materials are as follows:-

•Higher strength-to-density ratios

•Higher stiffness-to-density ratios

•Better fatigue resistance

•Better elevated temperature properties

•Lower coefficients of thermal expansion

•Improved abrasion and wear resistance

•Improved damping capabilities


Classifications of MMCs based on reinforcement are

•Particle reinforced composites

•Whisker reinforced composites

•Continuous fiber-reinforced compositesThese classes are briefly discussed in the following sections,


Particulate composites consist of one or more materials suspended in ametal matrix. These composites
generally contain ceramic reinforcements with anaspect ratio less than 5. Ceramic reinforcements used
are generally Al2O3, SiCp or Gr and present normally in volume fraction less than 30 % when used for
structuraland wear resistance applications. Mechanical properties of PMMCs are inferior compared to
whisker/fiber reinforced MMCs but far superior compared to unreinforced alloys. These composites are
near isotropic in nature and can besubjected to forming operations like extrusion, rolling and forging.


Whiskers are generally very short and stubby although the length-to-diameter ratio can vary from 20 to
200. Whisker is more perfect than a fiber andhence exhibits even better properties. Whiskers are
obtained by crystallization on avery small scale resulting in a nearly perfect alignment of crystals. Short
aluminafiber reinforced aluminium matrix composites is one of the first and most popular MMCs to be
developed and used in automobile pistons. Mechanical properties of whisker reinforced composites are
superior when compared to particle reinforcedcomposites. Whiskers can be incorporated into the
composites by varioustechniques like powder metallurgy and casting techniques to produce
metal/whisker systems.

In fibre reinforced composite materials, the fibre orientation decides thestrength of the composite and
the direction in which the matrix and the properties of the fibre are other factors which influence the
performance of the fibre-reinforcedcomposites. Fibre reinforced composites are produced from a wide
range of constituent materials. The length of a fibre affects the properties of the compositesand also it’s
processing characteristics. Generally continuous fibres are easier tohandle than short fibres. The fibre
reinforced composites are of interest in aerospaceapplications where weight saving is of great


Fabrication methods are important part of the design process for allstructural materials including MMCs.
Considerable work is under way in this criticalarea. Different manufacturing techniques are used to
fabricate the metal matrixcomposites. They can be classified into,

•Solid state processing

•Liquid state processing

•In-situ processingThe different processing routes for MMCs are briefly discussed in the

4.2.1 SOLID STATE PROCESSINGSolid state fabrication of Metal Matrix Composites

is a of process, inwhich Metal Matrix Composites are formed as a result of bonding matrix metal
anddispersed phase due to mutual diffusion occurring between them in solid states atelevated
temperature and under pressure. Low temperature of solid state fabrication process (as compared to
Liquid state fabrication of Metal Matrix Composites)depresses undesirable reactions on the boundary
between the matrix and dispersed(reinforcing) phases.There are two principal groups of solid state
fabrication of Metal MatrixComposites:1.Diffusion bonding2.Sintering. DIFFUSION BONDINGDiffusion Bonding

is a solid state fabrication method, in which matrix inform of foils and dispersed phase in form of layers
of long fibres are stacked in a particular order and then pressed at elevated temperature.The finished
laminate composite material has a multilayer structure.Application of pressure and temperature either
by hot or cold pressing provides good bonding between the fibre and the matrix in the perform. This
improves the strengthof the composites by introduction of plastic deformation in matrix and
removingvoids to densify the composite fully Diffusion Bonding is used for fabrication of simple shape
parts (plates, tubes). SINTERING

Sintering fabrication of Metal Matrix Composites is a process, in which a powder of a matrix metal is
mixed with a powder of dispersed phase in form of particles or short fibres for subsequent compacting
and sintering in solid state(sometimes with some presence of liquid).

Sintering is the method involving consolidation of powder grains byheating the “green” compact part to
a high temperature below the melting point,when the material of the separate particles diffuse to the
neighbouring powder particles.In contrast to the liquid state fabrication of Metal Matrix
Composites,sintering method allows obtaining materials containing up to 50% of dispersed phase.

Metal Matrix Composites may be deformed also after sintering operation by rolling, forging, and
pressing, Drawing or Extrusion. The deformation operationmay be either cold (below the recrystallization
temperature) or hot (above therecrystallyzation temperature).Deformation of sintered composite
materials with dispersed phase inform of short fibres results in a preferred orientation of the fibres and
anisotropy of the material properties (enhanced strength along the fibres orientation).


Liquid state fabrication of Metal Matrix Composites

involvesincorporation of dispersed phase into a molten matrix metal, followed by itsSolidification.In

order to provide high level of mechanical properties of the composite,good interfacial bonding (wetting)
between the dispersed phase and the liquid matrixshould be obtained.Wetting improvement may be
achieved by coating the dispersed phase particles (fibres). Proper coating not only reduces interfacial
energy, but also prevents chemical interaction between the dispersed phase and the matrix.The
techniques used for producing cast particulate composites usingliquid metallurgy are Stir casting and
Infiltration process STIR CASTING

The simplest and the most cost effective method of liquid statefabrication is Stir Casting.

Stir Casting is a liquid state method of composite materials fabrication,in which a dispersed phase
(ceramic particles, short fibres) is mixed with a moltenmatrix metal by means of mechanical stirring.The
liquid composite material is then cast by conventional castingmethods and may also be processed by
conventional Metal forming technologies.Stir Casting is characterized by the following features:

•Content of dispersed phase is limited (usually not more than 30 vol%).

•Distribution of dispersed phase throughout the matrix is not perfectlyhomogeneous:1. There are local
clouds (clusters) of the dispersed particles (fibres);2. There may be gravity segregation of the dispersed
phase due to a difference in thedensities of the dispersed and matrix phase.

•The technology is relatively simple and low cost.Distribution of dispersed phase may be improved if the
matrix is in semi-solidcondition.The method using stirring metal composite materials in semi-solid state
is called Rheocasting

. High viscosity of the semi-solid matrix material enables better mixing of the dispersed phase. INFILTRATION

Infiltration is a liquid state method of composite materials fabrication, inwhich a preformed dispersed
phase (ceramic particles, fibres, woven) is soaked in amolten matrix metal, which fills the space between
the dispersed phase inclusions.The motive force of an infiltration process may be either capillary forceof
the dispersed phase (spontaneous infiltration) or an external pressure (gaseous,mechanical,
electromagnetic, centrifugal or ultrasonic) applied to the liquid matrix phase (forced infiltration).

Gas pressure infiltration

Gas Pressure Infiltration is a forced infiltration method of liquid phasefabrication of Metal Matrix
Composites, using a pressurized gas for applying pressure on the molten metal and forcing it to
penetrate into a preformed dispersed phase. Gas Pressure Infiltration method is used for manufacturing
large composite parts.The method allows using non-coated fibres due to short contact time of thefibres
with the hot metal.In contrast to the methods using mechanical force, GasPressure Infiltration results in
low damage of the fibres.

Squeeze casting infiltration

Squeeze Casting Infiltration is a forced infiltration method of liquid phase fabrication of Metal Matrix
Composites, using a movable mold part (ram) for applying pressure on the molten metal and forcing it to
penetrate into a performeddispersed phase, placed into the lower fixed mold part.Squeeze Casting
Infiltration method is similar to the Squeeze castingtechnique used for metal alloys casting.Squeeze
Casting Infiltration process has the following steps:

•A perform of dispersed phase (particles, fibres) is placed into the lower fixedmold half.

•A molten metal in a predetermined amount is poured into the lower mold half.

•The upper movable mold half (ram) moves downwards and forces the liquidmetal to infiltrate the pre

•The infiltrated material solidifies under the pressure.

•The part is removed from the mold by means of the ejector pin.The method is used for manufacturing
simple small parts (automotive engine pistonsfrom aluminum alloy reinforced by alumina short fibres).

Pressure die infiltration

Pressure Die Infiltration

is a forced infiltration method of liquid phasefabrication of Metal Matrix Composites, using a Die casting
technology, when a preformed dispersed phase (particles, fibres) is placed into a die (mould) which
isthen filled with a molten metal entering the die through a sprue and penetrating intothe pre form
under the pressure of a movable piston (plunger).

4.2.3 IN-SITU FABRICATIONIn situ fabrication of Metal Matrix Composite

is a process, in whichdispersed (reinforcing) phase is formed in the matrix as a result of precipitation

fromthe melt during its cooling and Solidification.Different types of Metal Matrix Composites may be
prepared by in situfabrication method:

1. Particulate in situ MMC

– Particulate composite reinforced by in situsynthesized dispersed phase in form of particles.Examples:

Aluminum matrix reinforced by titanium boride (TiB2) particles,magnesium matrix reinforced by Mg2Si

2. Short-fibre reinforced in situ MMC

– Short-fibre composite reinforced by insitu synthesized dispersed phase in form of short fibres or
whiskers(single crystalsgrown in form of short fibres).Examples: Titanium matrix reinforced by titanium
boride (TiB2) whiskers,Aluminum matrix reinforced by titanium aluminide (TiAl3) whiskers.

3. Long-fibre reinforced in situ MMC

– Long-fibre composite reinforced by insitu synthesized dispersed phase in form of continuous

fibres.Example: Nickel-aluminum (NiAl) matrix reinforced by long continuous fibres of Mo (NiAl-9Mo
alloy).Dispersed phases of in situ fabricated Metal Matrix Composites mayconsist of intermetallic
compounds, carbides, borides, oxides, one of eutecticingredients.Advantages of in situ Metal Matrix

•In situ synthesized particles and fibres are smaller than those in materials withseparate fabrication of
dispersed phase (ex-situ MMCs). Fine particles provide better strengthening effect;

•In situ fabrication provides more homogeneous distribution of the dispersed phase particles;
•Bonding (adhesion) between the particles of in situ formed dispersed phaseand the matrix is better
than in ex-situ MMCs;

•Equipment and technologies for in situ fabrication of MMCs are lessexpensive.Disadvantages of in situ
Metal Matrix Composites:

•Choice of the dispersed phases is limited by thermodynamic ability of their precipitation in particular

•The size of dispersed phase particles is determined by solidification conditions



A crack is a type of fracture that separates a solid body into two, or more, piecesunder the action of
stress. There are three types of modes of failure [4].Mode I: The forces are perpendicular to the crack
(the crack is horizontal and theforces are vertical), pulling the crack open. This is referred to as the
opening mode.Mode II: The forces are parallel to the crack. One force is pushing the top half of thecrack
back and the other is pulling the bottom half of the crack forward, both alongthe same line. This creates
a shear crack: the crack is sliding along itself. It is calledin-plane shear because the forces are not causing
the material to move out of itsoriginal plane.Mode III: The forces are perpendicular to the crack (the
crack is in front-back direction, the forces are pulling left and right). This causes the material to
separateand slide along itself, moving out of its original plane (which is why it’s calledout-of-plane

Figure 5.1 Three Loading Modes




The base metal is chosen as Aluminium 2024.

The reinforcement is chosen as silicon carbide particulates and Graphite particulates (SiCp, Gr)

With the base metal as Aluminium, the composite is to be fabricated with 10%volume of Silicon Carbide
Particulates and 5%.of Graphite

6.1.1 Matrix material

Aluminium, the second most abundant metallic element on the earth, became an economic competitor
in engineering applications recently. The metalmatrix selected for present investigation is Al 2024. The
chemical composition of the matrix material is as shown the Table.

Table 6.1 Chemical Composition of Al 2024 (weight %)ElementSiFeCuMnMgZnTi VZrAl

NominalComposition% ( Weight)0.50max0.50max3.8
(Weight) The typical Composition of the matrix material
is shown in the following table.
Table 6.2 Typical Composition of Al 2024 (weight %)

ElementWeight in %Al93.50Cu4.4Mg1.5Mn0.6This matrix was chosen since it provides excellent

combination of strengthand damage tolerance at high strength applications like structural components
andhigh strength weldments. It also has a high heat dissipation capacity due to its highthermal


SiC particles are the most commonly used reinforcement materials in thediscontinuously reinforced
metal-matrix composite system. Aluminum matrixcomposites reinforced with SiC particulates provide for
a low-cost, high-modulusmaterial that can be processed via conventional powder metallurgy techniques.
Withincreased additions of SiC reinforcement, the modulus increases, and losses instrength, ductility,
and toughness may occur. Also, the role of the interfacial bond between SiC particulates and the
aluminum matrix may further detract from themechanical properties when the composite is subjected
to high temperatures. Particlesize and shape are important factors in determining materials properties.
Fatiguestrength is greatly improved with the use of fine particles.The SiC particles, which were used to
fabricate the composite,had an average particle size of 23µm and average density of 3.2 g / cm3. It is
thesecond hardest material after diamond with a Mohr’s hardness of 9.5. The melting point of the SiCp is
2890°C. The graphite particles used for hybrid composites areof 45µm size and average density of 2.25
g / cm3. It is a soft material with ahardness of 1-2 Mohr’s scale, with a melting point of 3650°C. Graphite
is a naturallubricant used in many applications.


Since the Al 2024 is found in bulk quantities in the market it is proposed tofirst fabricate the Al 2024
metal by using the typical composition as shown in thetable 5.2. The materials are displayed in
photographs below.


The stir casting technique was used to fabricate the composite specimenas it ensures a more uniform
distribution of the reinforcing particles. This method ismost economical to fabricate composites with
discontinuous fibers or particulates. Inthis process, matrix alloy (Al 2024) was first superheated above its
meltingtemperature and then temperature is lowered gradually below the liquidustemperature to keep
the matrix alloy in the semisolid state. At this temperature, the preheated Sic particles of 10 % (by
weight) and graphite particle of average size of 23 µm and 45 µm respectively were introduced into the
slurry and mixed using agraphite stirrer.The composite slurry temperature was increased to fully liquid
state andautomatic stirring was continued to about five minutes at an average stirring speed of 300-350
rpm under protected organ gas. The SiCp particles help in distributing thegraphite particles uniformly
throughout the matrix alloy. The melt was thensuperheated above liquidus temperature and finally
poured into the cast iron permanent mould for testing specimen. The specification of the fabricated
billetcomposite is150 mm length and 50 mm width and a thickness of 20 mmThe composite metal after
been ejected from the mold is then rolled in a hotrolling machine up to 15 passes. This is done in order
to help in distributing thesilicon carbide particulates in the metal matrix and thereby improving
themechanical properties. The billet composite, due to hot rolling reduces its thicknessand as an end
result edge cracks are being formed.



The relevant materials and the selection criteria have been collected andidentified. The type of crack and
material properties have been studied in phase –I.In the phase-II project, the composite metal is
fabricated, hot rolled and theanalysis of the fabricated composite with edged cracks is studied and the
outcomewill be the solution for different applications of the composite material in the field of aerospace
and automotive industries.


Text Books

1.Abis, S., (1989),“Characteristics of an aluminium alloy/Alumina Metal Matrix composite”,Composites

science and technology, Vol.35, pp.1-11.

2.Brian Terry and JonesGlyn.,(1990), Metal matrix composite, Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd.,England,

3. ASM International, (1993),“Advanced Materials and Processes”, Vol.143 No.6, p.21.

4.American Foundry men’sSociety,

Cast metals handbook ,4thed., Desplaines (1957).

5.J.J. Sha, J.S. Park, T. Hinokiand A. Kohyama, “Tensile behavior and microstructural characterization of
SiC fibres under loading”, Materials Science and Engineering: A, Volume456, Issues 1-2, 15 May 2007,
Pages 72-77.