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Metals 2017, 7(10), 388;

Ultrasound Assisted Casting of an AM60 Based Metal Matrix Nanocomposite, Its Properties, and Recyclability

Institute of Materials Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
BCAST-Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK
Faculty of Physics and Engineering, National Research Tomsk State University, Tomsk 634050, Russia
Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing, School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Matrix Composites)
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An AM60 magnesium alloy nanocomposite reinforced with 1 wt % of AlN nanoparticles was prepared using an ultrasound (US) assisted permanent-mould indirect-chill casting process. Ultrasonically generated cavitation and acoustic streaming promoted de-agglomeration of particle clusters and distributed the particles throughout the melt. Significant grain refinement due to nucleation on the AlN nanoparticles was accompanied by an exceptional improvement in properties: yield strength increased by 103%, ultimate tensile strength by 115%, and ductility by 140%. Although good grain refinement was observed, the large nucleation undercooling of 14 K limits further refinement because nucleation is prevented by the formation of a nucleation-free zone around each grain. To assess the industrial applicability and recyclability of the nanocomposite material in various casting processes, tests were performed to determine the effect of remelting on the microstructure. With each remelting, a small percentage of effective AlN nanoparticles was lost, and some grain growth was observed. However, even after the third remelting, excellent strength and ductility was retained. According to strengthening models, enhanced yield strength is mainly attributed to Hall-Petch strengthening caused by the refined grain size. A small additional contribution to strengthening is attributed to Orowan strengthening. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticles; metal matrix nanocomposite (MMNC); AlN; magnesium alloy AM60; strengthening mechanisms nanoparticles; metal matrix nanocomposite (MMNC); AlN; magnesium alloy AM60; strengthening mechanisms

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Dieringa, H.; Katsarou, L.; Buzolin, R.; Szakács, G.; Horstmann, M.; Wolff, M.; Mendis, C.; Vorozhtsov, S.; StJohn, D. Ultrasound Assisted Casting of an AM60 Based Metal Matrix Nanocomposite, Its Properties, and Recyclability. Metals 2017, 7, 388.

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