Advances in Metal Matrix Composites: Structure, Properties and Applications

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Crystalline Metals and Alloys".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 September 2024 | Viewed by 6270

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Dept. of Materials and Manufacturing, School of Engineering, Jönköping University, P.O. Box 1026, 551 11 Jönköping, Sweden
Interests: aluminium metal matrix composites; cast aluminium alloys; microscopy; mechanical properties; wear

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Guest Editor
Department of Materials and Manufacturing, School of Engineering, Jönköping University, 55111 Jönköping, Sweden
Interests: casting; aluminium; magnesium; heat treatment; mechanical behavior; fatigue; process microstructure performance; additive manufacturing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Metal matrix composites (MMCs) are attractive materials due to their unique properties that stem from combining a wide range of matrix materials and reinforcements. The possibility of tailoring the mechanical response, the thermophysical properties, the chemical and electrical behavior, and the wear properties makes MMCs incredibly interesting. The development of such materials has been driven by various applications in different fields, including automotive, aerospace, electrical and electronic applications. The challenge of creating a sustainable society lies in the recyclability of such materials.

Given the fast evolution of these materials and the numerous combination possibilities, this Special Issue, “Advances in Metal Matrix Composites: Structure, Properties and Applications”, aims to gather studies on the most recent advances in the field. Articles focusing on material modeling, microstructural characterization, wear testing, and mechanical and thermophysical performance at room and high temperatures are welcome. Articles on the sustainability of MMCs, either by recycling the composite or using recycled matrices and reinforcements, are highly encouraged.

Dr. Lucia Lattanzi
Prof. Dr. Anders E. W. Jarfors
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • metal matrix composites
  • microstructure
  • mechanical properties
  • wear
  • thermophysical properties
  • electrical properties
  • applications

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 5542 KiB  
Article
Combined Effect of Particle Reinforcement and T6 Heat Treatment on the Compressive Deformation Behavior of an A357 Aluminum Alloy at Room Temperature and at 350 °C
by Sarah Johanna Hirsch, Nadja Berndt, Thomas Grund and Thomas Lampke
Crystals 2024, 14(4), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst14040317 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Solid state sintering of cast aluminum powders by resistance heating sintering (RHS), also known as spark plasma sintering or field-assisted sintering technique, creates a very fine microstructure in the bulk material. This leads to high performance material properties with an improved strength and [...] Read more.
Solid state sintering of cast aluminum powders by resistance heating sintering (RHS), also known as spark plasma sintering or field-assisted sintering technique, creates a very fine microstructure in the bulk material. This leads to high performance material properties with an improved strength and ductility compared to conventional production routes of the same alloys. In this study, the mechanical behavior of an RHS-sintered age-hardenable A357 (AlSi7Mg0.6) cast alloy and a SiCp/A357 aluminum matrix composite (AMC) was investigated. Aiming for high strength and good wear behavior in tribological applications, the AMC was reinforced with a high particle content (35 vol.%) of a coarse particle fraction (d50 = 21 µm). Afterwards, separated and combined effects of particle reinforcement and heat treatment were studied under compressive load both at room temperature and at 350 °C. At room temperature compression, the strengthening effect of precipitation hardening was about twice as high as that for the particle reinforcement, despite the high particle content. At elevated temperatures, the compressive deformation behavior was characterized by simultaneously occurring temperature-activated recovery, recrystallisation and precipitation processes. The occurrence and interaction of these processes was significantly affected by the initial material condition. Moreover, a rearrangement of the SiC reinforcement particles was detected after hot deformation. This rearrangement lead to a homogenized dispersion of the reinforcement phase without considerable particle fragmentation, which offers the potential for secondary thermo-mechanical processing of highly reinforced AMCs. Full article
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15 pages, 5255 KiB  
Article
On the Efficient Particle Dispersion and Transfer in the Fabrication of SiC-Particle-Reinforced Aluminum Matrix Composite
by Andong Du, Lucia Lattanzi, Anders E. W. Jarfors, Jinchuan Zheng, Kaikun Wang and Gegang Yu
Crystals 2023, 13(12), 1621; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst13121621 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 928
Abstract
Lightweight SiC-particle-reinforced aluminum composites have the potential to replace cast iron in brake discs, especially for electric vehicles. This study investigates the effect of SiC particle size and matrix alloy composition on the resulting transfer efficiency and particle distribution. The performance of a [...] Read more.
Lightweight SiC-particle-reinforced aluminum composites have the potential to replace cast iron in brake discs, especially for electric vehicles. This study investigates the effect of SiC particle size and matrix alloy composition on the resulting transfer efficiency and particle distribution. The performance of a specially designed stirring head was studied using a water model, and the stirring head conditions were assessed to understand the particle transfer and dispersion mechanisms in the molten aluminum. The standard practice of thermal pre-treatment promotes the wetting of the reinforcing particles and commonly causes clustering before the addition to the melt. This early clustering affects the transfer efficiency and particle dispersion, where their interaction with the melt top-surface oxide skin plays an important role. In addition, the transfer efficiency was linked to the particle size and the chemical composition of the matrix alloy. Smaller particles aggravated the degree of clustering, and the addition of rare earth elements as alloying elements in the matrix alloy affected the particle dispersion. The stirring parameters should be selected to ensure cluster disruption when the carbides are added to the melt. Full article
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20 pages, 13482 KiB  
Article
Influence of TiC Particles on Mechanical and Tribological Characteristics of Advanced Aluminium Matrix Composites Fabricated through Ultrasonic-Assisted Stir Casting
by Chitti Babu Golla, Mahammod Babar Pasha, Rajamalla Narasimha Rao, Syed Ismail and Manoj Gupta
Crystals 2023, 13(9), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst13091360 - 08 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
The present investigation highlights the development of high-performance materials in the construction materials industry, with a special focus on the production of aluminium matrix composites (AMCs) containing titanium carbide (TiC) particles. The stir casting method with ultrasonic assistance was employed to enhance the [...] Read more.
The present investigation highlights the development of high-performance materials in the construction materials industry, with a special focus on the production of aluminium matrix composites (AMCs) containing titanium carbide (TiC) particles. The stir casting method with ultrasonic assistance was employed to enhance the mechanical and tribological properties. ASTM standards were employed to evaluate the influence of TiC particles on density, hardness (VHN), ultimate tensile strength (UTS), and wear resistance at various TiC weight fraction percentages (0.0 wt.%, 2.0 wt.%, 4.0 wt.%, 6.0 wt.%, and 8.0 wt.%). Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis were performed to analyse the microstructural changes and elemental phases present in the synthesised composite. Results revealed that the incorporation of 8 wt.% TiC reinforcement in the metal matrix composites demonstrated significant improvements compared to the base alloy. In particular, a substantial enhancement in hardness by 32%, a notable increase of 68% in UTS, and a significant 80% rise in yield strength were observed when contrasted with the pure aluminium alloy. The tensile fracture analysis of the specimens revealed the presence of dimples, voids, and cracks, suggesting a brittle nature. To assess the wear characteristics of the composites, dry sliding wear experiments were performed using a pin-on-disc wear tester. Incorporation of TiC particles resulted in a lower coefficient of friction than the base alloy, with the lowest friction coefficient being recorded at 0.266 for 6 wt.% TiC, according to the data. FESEM and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) were used to examine the surfaces of the worn pin. Overall, the inclusion of TiC reinforcement particles in the matrix alloy greatly enhanced the wear resistance and friction coefficient of the Al-6TiC composites. Ploughing and adhesion under lower loads and delamination under higher loads were the wear mechanisms observed in the wear test. Full article
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20 pages, 9491 KiB  
Article
An Investigation on the Enhanced Wear Behavior of Ultrasonically Stirred Cast A356/SiO2np Nano-composites
by Ahmad Ghahremani, Amir Abdullah, Alireza Fallahi Arezoodar and Manoj Gupta
Crystals 2023, 13(5), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst13050722 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 935
Abstract
Metal matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs) are becoming the materials of choice in a variety of engineering and medical applications owing to their exhibiting a superior combination of targeted properties. Amongst different MMNCs, aluminum-based composites are of special importance. In many applications, a relatively inferior [...] Read more.
Metal matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs) are becoming the materials of choice in a variety of engineering and medical applications owing to their exhibiting a superior combination of targeted properties. Amongst different MMNCs, aluminum-based composites are of special importance. In many applications, a relatively inferior wear property limits the use of this valued metal in practice. However, reinforcing aluminum and its alloys by ceramics, carbon allotropes, etc., may circumvent these limitations to a great extent. In the present study, aluminum alloy A356/SiO2 nanocomposite is fabricated by a vibration-assisted casting process, wherein varied amount of nanosilica, namely, 0.125, 0.25, and 0.375 wt.%, have been added to the melt. The use of power ultrasonic treatment had a great influence on the microstructure, hardness, and wear properties. Microstructural and XRD analyses were performed on the fabricated monolithic and composite samples. To evaluate wear behavior, a hardness test and pin-on-disk experiment were conducted on the samples under 60, 80, and 100 N forces at a constant speed of 1 m/s and the sliding distance was varied from 1000 to 2000 m. The abraded surfaces, wear debris, and EDS analysis were used to identify wear mechanisms. The samples having 0.125 wt.% exhibited the highest increase in hardness and the highest reduction in both friction coefficient and wear rate by 52%, 50%, and 68%, respectively. The main governing wear mechanism was abrasion, with limited evidence of delamination. Full article
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Review

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25 pages, 8091 KiB  
Review
Progress in the Copper-Based Diamond Composites for Thermal Conductivity Applications
by Kang Chen, Xuesong Leng, Rui Zhao, Yiyao Kang and Hongsheng Chen
Crystals 2023, 13(6), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst13060906 - 01 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2248
Abstract
Copper-based diamond composites have been the focus of many investigations for higher thermal conductivity applications. However, the natural non-wetting behavior between diamond particles and copper matrix makes it difficult to fabricate copper-based diamond composites with high thermal conductivity. Thus, to promote wettability between [...] Read more.
Copper-based diamond composites have been the focus of many investigations for higher thermal conductivity applications. However, the natural non-wetting behavior between diamond particles and copper matrix makes it difficult to fabricate copper-based diamond composites with high thermal conductivity. Thus, to promote wettability between copper and diamond particles, the copper/diamond interface must be modified by coating alloying elements on the diamond surface or by adding active alloying elements with carbon in the copper matrix. In this paper, we review the research progress on copper-based diamond composites, including theoretical models for calculating the thermal conductivity and the effect of process parameters on the thermal conductivity of copper-based diamond composites. The factors that affect interfacial thermal conductivity are emphatically analyzed in this review. Finally, the current problems of copper-based diamond composites and future research trends are recommended. Full article
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