This paper addresses a comprehensive and further insight into the sensitivity of material removal and the surface defect formation mechanism to scratch depth during single-grit scratch tests of 50 vol% SiCp/Al composites. The three-dimensional (3D) finite element model with more realistic 3D micro-structure, particle-matrix interfacial behaviors, particle-particle contact behaviors, particle-matrix contact behaviors and a Johnson-Holmquist-Beissel (JHB) model of SiC was developed. The scratch simulation conducted at scratch velocity 10 mm/min and loading rate 40 N/min revealed that the scratch depth plays a crucial role in material removal and the surface forming process. Brittle fracturing of SiC particles and surface defects become more deteriorative under a large scratch depth ranging from 0.0385 to 0.0764 μm. The above phenomenon can be attributed to the influence of scratch depth on SiC particles’ transport; the increase in the amount of SiC particle transport resulting from an increase of scratch depth raises the occurrence of particle-particle collision which provides hard support and shock for the scratched particles; therefore, brittle fracturing gradually becomes the major removal mode of SiC particles as the scratch depth increases. On the deteriorative surface, various defects are observed; i.e., lateral cracks, interfacial debonding, cavies filled with residually broken particles, etc. The von Mises stress distribution shows that SiC particles bear vast majority of load, and thus present greater stress than the surrounding Al matrix. For example: their ratio of 3 to 30 under the scratch depth of 0.011 mm. Namely, SiC particles impede stress diffusion within the Al matrix. Finally, the SEM images of the scratched surface obtained from the single-grit scratch experiments verify the numerical analysis’s results.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited