N R Prabhu Swamy
Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science
Volume 33 Issue 1 February 2010 pp 49-54 Composites
In recent years, aluminum alloy based metal matrix composites (MMC) are gaining importance in several aerospace and automobile applications. Aluminum 6061 has been used as matrix material owing to its excellent mechanical properties coupled with good formability and its wide applications in industrial sector. Addition of SiCp as reinforcement in Al6061 alloy system improves its hardness, tensile strength and wear resistance. In the present investigation Al6061–SiCp composites was fabricated by liquid metallurgy route with percentages of SiCp varying from 4 wt% to 10 wt% in steps of 2 wt%. The cast matrix alloy and its composites have been subjected to solutionizing treatment at a temperature of 530°C for 1 h followed by quenching in different media such as air, water and ice. The quenched samples are then subjected to both natural and artificial ageing. Microstructural studies have been carried out to understand the nature of structure. Mechanical properties such as microhardness, tensile strength, and abrasive wear tests have been conducted both on matrix Al6061 and Al6061–SiCp composites before and after heat treatment. However, under identical heat treatment conditions, adopted Al6061–SiCp composites exhibited better microhardness and tensile strength reduced wear loss when compared with Al matrix alloy.
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