Special Issue "Advances in Synthesis, Structure and Properties of Metal Matrix Composites"

A special issue of Journal of Composites Science (ISSN 2504-477X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Konstantinos Georgarakis

School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) and BMG-composites; metastable and nanostructured alloys; metal matrix composites; casting and rapid solidification; sustainable manufacturing; application of synchrotron and neutron radiation techniques in materials characterization
Guest Editor
Dr. Dina Dudina

Lavrentyev Institute of Hydrodynamics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lavrentyev Ave. 15, Novosibirsk 630090, Russian Federation
Website | E-Mail
Interests: powder metallurgy; field-assisted sintering; metal matrix composites; powder processing; thermal spraying

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Metal matrix composites (MMCs) have long been the subject of extensive research and industrial development. Application areas, for which the mechanical strength of pure metals or alloys are not sufficient, require the use of MMCs–materials, in which reinforcements of different types are distributed in metal matrices and act as load-bearing elements and/or additives modifying the structure and properties of the matrix itself. Distribution of reinforcements in a metal matrix is a key structural feature, determining the mechanical behavior of MMCs. Recent studies have shown that a uniform distribution of the reinforcement particles is not an answer to all property requirements. In order to increase the ductility and damage tolerance, trimodal composites featuring reinforcement-free regions and composites with network distribution of reinforcements have been developed. In MMCs produced by powder metallurgy, interesting microstructure design possibilities appear when the shape of powder agglomerates is tailored and the bulk composites are allowed to inherit the structural features of the powders.

Along with traditional ceramic particulate reinforcements, new types of reinforcing phases have gained attention: Graphene platelets, carbon nanotubes, particles of stronger metals (relative to the matrix metal) and particles of metallic glasses. In close connection to attempts to harness metastable compositions and nano-sized morphological features in MMCs are the developments of non-equilibrium consolidation methods enabling the grain size control and presevation of metastable characteristics of the materials in the bulk state. Fundamental studies of the effect of the composition and physical properties of the reinforcement on the consolidation behavior of MMCs in non-equilibrium processes should be futher extended. Novel in situ synthesis techniques are being developed to achieve intermixing of the target phases at the nanoscale. In MMCs designed for functional applications, the property trade-off has to be tackled: Positive gains in mechanical strength, stiffness and wear resistance often come at a price of an electrical conductivity loss. MMCs with layered structures, MMC coatings and functionally graded MMCs present promising directions to follow in order to achieve desired property combinations.

This Special Issue aims to become a forum for active discussions of advances in the synthesis, structural design and property tailoring of MMCs to highlight current scientific and technological challenges that remain to be solved in this area of materials science.

Dr. Konstantinos Georgarakis
Dr. Dina Dudina
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Journal of Composites Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. 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 (MMCs)
  • reinforcement distribution
  • in situ synthesis
  • sintering
  • interface
  • novel reinforcements
  • microstructure
  • mechanical behavior
  • materials properties and characterization
  • nanocomposites

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Finite Element Modelling and Validation of Thermomechanical Behaviour for Layered Aluminium Parts Made by Composite Metal Foil Manufacturing
J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2040068
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract
The paper presents finite element modelling and thermomechanical analysis on the tensile properties of layered aluminium 1050 metal foil parts made by composite metal foil manufacturing. In this paper, a three-dimensional finite element model was developed and validated through experiments to analyse thermal [...] Read more.
The paper presents finite element modelling and thermomechanical analysis on the tensile properties of layered aluminium 1050 metal foil parts made by composite metal foil manufacturing. In this paper, a three-dimensional finite element model was developed and validated through experiments to analyse thermal effects on the tensile properties of 200-μm-thick aluminium 1050 metal foils. The effects of thermal stress and strain were studied by carrying out transient thermal analysis on the heated plates used to join the 200-μm-thick metal foils together using a special brazing paste. A standard tensile test at ambient temperature was carried out on the resulting layered dog bone specimens to analyse the thermal effects on the individual layers of metal. The investigations were precisely designed to assess the effect of heat provided amid the brazing operation to join the metal thwarts together as a layered structure and whether it assumed a part in affecting the tensile properties of the final products when contrasted to a solid aluminium 1050 dog bone specimen of the same dimensions. Corrosion testing was also carried out on dog bone specimens made from varying thickness foils (50 μm, 100 μm, and 200 μm) of aluminium 1050 to assess the effect of corrosion on the tensile strength and elongation. The results showed that the specimens did not face the problem of galvanic corrosion of the foil–bond interface. Microstructural analysis was also carried out to analyse the fracture modes of the tested specimens after corrosion testing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Formation and Distribution of In Situ Synthesized TiB2 Reinforcements in Cast Aluminium Matrix Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2030052
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
Introduction of TiB2 reinforcements into aluminium matrices allows composites to be obtained that exhibit excellent mechanical properties and good wear and corrosion resistance. These composites find applications in the automotive, aerospace and marine industries. In the present work, the in situ synthesis [...] Read more.
Introduction of TiB2 reinforcements into aluminium matrices allows composites to be obtained that exhibit excellent mechanical properties and good wear and corrosion resistance. These composites find applications in the automotive, aerospace and marine industries. In the present work, the in situ synthesis of ultrafine TiB2 particulates in an aluminium matrix was accomplished by reaction synthesis of TiB2 using K2TiF6 and KBF4 (in 120% excess to the stoichiometrically needed) fluxes in pre-melted aluminium. Composites were prepared with different concentrations of TiB2 in (2.5, 5 and 10 wt %) in an aluminium matrix. The holding time of the molten composite in an induction furnace was varied from 10 min to 50 min. The in situ formation of TiB2 reinforcement and its distribution in cast aluminiummatrix composites was analyzed based on microstructural studies, microhardness measurements and wear tests. The exothermic reaction between the halide fluxes starts after 10 min of holding time and completes before 20 min of holding time. The dominant phase was TiB2 after 20 min of holding time, while the formation of Ti3B4 was observed as the holding time was extended. The distribution of the reinforcing phases was studied by analyzing the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. An optimum holding time (20 min) of the composite melt was determined based on the dominant wear mechanism, microhardness, and phase composition of the composites. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Chemical Stability of Tricalcium Phosphate–Iron Composite during Spark Plasma Sintering
J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2030051
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Tricalcium phosphate (Ca3(PO4)2, TCP) is a ceramic widely used as a bone filler material due to its good osteoconductivity. Nevertheless, its poor mechanical properties do not allow its use for load-bearing applications. Therefore, the option of improving [...] Read more.
Tricalcium phosphate (Ca3(PO4)2, TCP) is a ceramic widely used as a bone filler material due to its good osteoconductivity. Nevertheless, its poor mechanical properties do not allow its use for load-bearing applications. Therefore, the option of improving its strength and toughness by adding a biocompatible metallic component is a promising alternative to overcome this drawback, leading to the fabrication of improved bone implants. The present work is focused on defining the thermal stability of alpha-TCP (α-TCP) when it is sintered together with iron (Fe) by spark plasma sintering. The results showed the thermal stability of the composite with no degradation or oxidation in the ceramic or metal phase. A clear advantage from the TCP-Fe composites when compared with others, such as hydroxyapatite-titanium, is the complete retention of the TCP due to the less reactivity with iron respect to titanium. Furthermore, the allotropic phase transformation from alpha to beta-TCP polymorph was reduced by sintering at 900 °C. However, the densification of the material was also impaired at this temperature. It is expected that spark plasma sintering will allow the fabrication of TCP–Fe composites free of secondary phases that compromise the mechanical strength of the material. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Study of Aluminum Wires Treated with MoB2 Nanoparticles
J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2030050
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
This research focuses on the fabrication of aluminum wires treated with MoB2 nanoparticles and their effect on selected mechanical and thermal properties of the wires. These nanoparticles were obtained by fragmentation in a high-energy ball mill and then mechanically alloyed with pure [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the fabrication of aluminum wires treated with MoB2 nanoparticles and their effect on selected mechanical and thermal properties of the wires. These nanoparticles were obtained by fragmentation in a high-energy ball mill and then mechanically alloyed with pure aluminum powder to form Al/MoB2 pellets. The pellets were added to molten pure aluminum (99.5%) at 760 °C. Afterwards, the treated melt was cast into cylindrical ingots, which were cold-formed to the desired final diameter with intermediate annealing. X-ray diffraction and optical microscopy allowed characterizing the structure and microstructure of the material. The wires underwent tensile and bending tests, as well as electrical measurements. Finally, this research demonstrated how the mechanical properties of aluminum wires can be enhanced with the addition of MoB2 nanoparticles with minimal effects on the material resistivity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation on Mechanical Properties of an Al6061 Hybrid Metal Matrix Composite
J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2030049
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
The demand for aluminum hybrid metal matrix composites has increased in recent times due to their enhanced mechanical properties for satisfying the requirements of advanced engineering applications. The performance of these materials is greatly influenced by the selection of an appropriate combination of [...] Read more.
The demand for aluminum hybrid metal matrix composites has increased in recent times due to their enhanced mechanical properties for satisfying the requirements of advanced engineering applications. The performance of these materials is greatly influenced by the selection of an appropriate combination of reinforcement materials. The reinforcement materials include carbides, nitrides, and oxides. The ceramic particles, such as silicon carbide and aluminum oxide, are the most widely used reinforcement materials for preparing these composites. In this paper, an attempt has been made to prepare an Al6061 hybrid metal matrix composite (HAMMC) reinforced with particulates with different weight fractions of SiC and Al2O3 and a constant weight fraction (5%) of fly ash by a stir-casting process. The experimental study has been carried out on the prepared composite to investigate the mechanical properties due to the addition of multiple reinforcement materials. The density and mechanical properties, such as ultimate tensile strength, yield strength, impact strength, and the hardness and wear characteristics of the proposed composite, are compared with those of unreinforced Al6061. The experimental investigation is also aimed at observing the variation of properties with a varying weight percentage of the reinforcement materials SiC and Al2O3 simultaneously with the fly ash content maintained constant. The outcome of the experimental investigation revealed that the proposed hybrid composite with 20% of total reinforcement material exhibits high hardness, high yield strength, and low wear rate but no considerable improvement in impact strength. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
On the Structure and Mechanical Properties of Multilayered Composite, Obtained by Explosive Welding of High-Strength Titanium Alloys
J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2030039
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
One of the ways to simultaneously increase the strength and the fracture and impact toughness of structural materials is by producing multilayered materials. In this paper we discuss the structure and properties of a seven-layer composite obtained by explosive welding of high-strength titanium [...] Read more.
One of the ways to simultaneously increase the strength and the fracture and impact toughness of structural materials is by producing multilayered materials. In this paper we discuss the structure and properties of a seven-layer composite obtained by explosive welding of high-strength titanium alloys. The structure of the composite was characterized using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). At the interfaces between plates, formation of waves and vortices was observed. The wave formation is discussed with respect to the kinetic energy loss. The vortices consisted of a mixture of two alloys and possessed a martensitic structure comprising α′ and β phases of titanium. Localized plastic deformation occurred along the interfaces during explosive welding by formation of shear bands. The most intensive shear banding occurred in the vicinity of the upper interfaces. The local hardness at the interfaces increased due to the formation of the quenched structures. The interfaces between titanium alloys positively influenced the impact toughness of the composite, which increased in comparison with that of bulk titanium alloys by a factor of 3.5. The strength characteristics of the composite remained at the same level as that of the bulk material (1100–1200 MPa). Full article
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