• AMARJIT SINGH

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    • Investigations on microstructural and microhardness developments in sintered iron–coal fly ash composites

      AMARJIT SINGH JARNAIL SINGH MANOJ KUMAR SINHA RAVI KUMAR VIKRAM VERMA

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      The present work is aimed to explore the microstructural and mechanical characteristics of coal-fly ash reinforced iron metal-matrix composites (IMMCs), synthesized through powder metallurgy technique. Coalfly ash wt%, compacting load and sintering temperature were considered as the input variables, whereas sintered density and microhardness of the composites were taken as the output responses. Flowability and compressibility of the starting materials were demonstrated using Hausner ratio and Carr’s index. Decorous morphological,crystallographic and elemental characteristics of the starting materials and IMMCs were deliberated using Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and Energy-dispersiveX-ray spectroscopy investigations respectively. A significant improvement in the microhardness of IMMCs by 50% and drop in density by 35% were found at 15 wt% as compared to 0 wt% reinforcement. The substantial increase in the microhardness eventually resulted in an increase in their specific microhardness by a factor of two. Significant improvements inthe microhardness of IMMCs at 15 wt % of reinforcement, compacted at 10 ton and sintered at 1150°C were found to be prompted by the strengthening mechanisms like load transfer, Hall–Petch effect and Taylor strengthening. The analytically calculated microhardness in the light of strengthening mechanisms was found smaller than the corresponding experimental values as a function of wt % of reinforcement. Further, statistical analysis of the obtained results was carried out using response surface methodology

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