Metal-Based Composite Materials: Properties, Synthesis, Prospects and Challenges

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701). This special issue belongs to the section "Metal Matrix Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 26 July 2024 | Viewed by 4400

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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
Interests: combustion synthesis (CS) of nanomaterials; bio-inspired ceramics; catalytic systems; biomaterials; metals; high-entropy materials; pseudoalloys; characterization by X-ray diffraction; scanning electron microscope; gas chromatography; chemical, atomic absorption, and thermal analysis methods; spark plasma sintering and selective laser melting/sintering of metals, ceramics, and cermets
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to the forthcoming Special Issue, titled “Metal-Based Composite Materials: Properties, Synthesis, Prospects and Challenges”, to the journal Metals.

With the continuous upsurge in technological advances and global market demand, novel materials are increasingly required to operate under extreme environmental conditions, as well as for multipurpose (catalytic, magnetic, electric, and shape-memory) applications. Although metal–ceramic composite materials are always at the technological forefront, traditional efforts have limited capabilities to address the current issues focused on by both industrial and scientific drivers.

New methods of designing metal–ceramic composite materials have already highlighted the potential of hybrid materials with a length scale defined by their inner architecture (so-called architected materials). Searching for solutions to meet the challenging requirements on the development of architected metal-based composites of combined specifications has a prospective to ensure predefined industrial needs. Metal–ceramic composites, MAX phase-reinforced metal composites, high-entropy alloys, etc., often exhibit combinations of unusual properties, leading to an emerging yet exciting new fields of boundless exploration. The spectacular field of these composite materials for multipurpose applications in hydrogen storage, radiation resistance, diffusion barriers for electronics, precision resistors, electromagnetic shielding, soft magnetic, thermoelectrics, functional coatings, piezoelectrics, etc., as well as the evolution of microstructure, its defects, and mechanical and physical properties of the produced materials, are the topics of particular interest for this Special Issue. New knowledge and discussion of the new ways of developing metals and metal-based materials, control of materials quality, and process simulation are the main motivations of the current Special Issue.

Dr. Sofiya Aydinyan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • metal-based composites
  • MAX phases
  • high-entropy MAX phases
  • architected metallic materials
  • hybrid materials
  • physical and mechanical properties
  • shape-memory alloys
  • high-entropy alloys: piezoelectrics
  • energy storage materials

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 6576 KiB  
Article
Optimization of the Laser Drilling Processing Parameters for Carbon Steel Based on Multi-Physics Simulation
by Shanqing Liang, Fengxian Li, Yichun Liu, Jianhong Yi and Jürgen Eckert
Metals 2024, 14(6), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/met14060682 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 319
Abstract
The laser drilling of carbon steel is always suffered from the formation of slag, the presence of cutting burrs, the generation of a significant quantity of spatter, and the incomplete penetration of the substrate. In order to avoid these defects formed during the [...] Read more.
The laser drilling of carbon steel is always suffered from the formation of slag, the presence of cutting burrs, the generation of a significant quantity of spatter, and the incomplete penetration of the substrate. In order to avoid these defects formed during the laser drilling of carbon steel, the COMSOL multi-physics simulation method was used to model and optimize the laser drilling process. Considering the splash evolution of the material during the complex drilling process, the transient evolution of the temperature field, the flow of the molten fluid, the geometrical changes, and the absorption of the laser energy during the laser drilling process were investigated. The simulated borehole dimensions are consistent with the experimental results. The process parameters have a great influence on the fluid flow pattern and material slag splashing. The laser power has a significant effect on the laser processing compared with the process parameters. With the increase in laser power and the decrease in laser heat source radius, the time required for perforation is reduced, the flow of melt is accelerated, the perforation efficiency is increased, and the hole wall is smoother, but the degree of spattering is greater. The optimized process parameters were obtained: laser heat source radius of 0.3 mm, laser power of 3000 W. These findings can help reduce the machining defects in carbon steel with excellent mechanical properties by optimizing the laser drilling processing parameters. Full article
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13 pages, 3541 KiB  
Article
Heterostructure Engineering Enables MoSe2 with Superior Alkali-Ion Storage
by Huabin Kong, Yihan Wen, Siying Chen, Xiyao Chen, Runzhi Chen, Jiamou Yan and Nianjie Mao
Metals 2024, 14(5), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/met14050595 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2) is a promising anode for alkali-ion storage due to its intrinsic advantages. However, MoSe2 still encounters the issues of structural instability and poor rate performance caused by drastic volume change and sluggish reaction kinetics. Reasonable design of [...] Read more.
Molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2) is a promising anode for alkali-ion storage due to its intrinsic advantages. However, MoSe2 still encounters the issues of structural instability and poor rate performance caused by drastic volume change and sluggish reaction kinetics. Reasonable design of electrode structure is crucial for achieving superior electrochemical performance. Herein, a novel hierarchical structure coupled with 1D/1D subunits is elaborately designed and constructed, in which the MoSe2/CoSe2 heterostructure is the “trunk” and the N-doped carbon nanotubes are the “branches” (MoSe2/CoSe2/NCNTs). Benefiting from the properties endowed by unique configurations, MoSe2/CoSe2/NCNTs electrodes manifest faster reaction kinetics and better structure durability. Evaluated as an anode for LIBs and SIBs, MoSe2/CoSe2/NCNTs deliver high reversible capacity, superior rate capability (452 at 10 A g−1 in LIBs and 296 at 10 A g−1 in SIBs), and prominent cycle life (553 after 2000 cycles at 5 A g−1 in LIBs and 310 after 2000 cycles at 5 A g−1 in SIBs). Such design conception can also provide guidance for the development of other high-performance electrodes. Full article
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15 pages, 7988 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Analytical Study of Directional Isothermal Fatigue in Additively Manufactured Ti-TiB Metal Matrix Composites
by Thevika Balakumar, Reza A. Riahi and Afsaneh Edrisy
Metals 2024, 14(4), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/met14040408 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM) techniques are widely investigated for the cost-effective use of titanium (Ti) alloys in various aerospace applications. One of the AM techniques developed for such applications is plasma transferred arc solid free-form fabrication (PTA-SFFF). Materials manufactured through AM techniques often exhibit [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing (AM) techniques are widely investigated for the cost-effective use of titanium (Ti) alloys in various aerospace applications. One of the AM techniques developed for such applications is plasma transferred arc solid free-form fabrication (PTA-SFFF). Materials manufactured through AM techniques often exhibit anisotropies in mechanical properties due to the layer-by-layer material build. In this regard, the present study investigates the isothermal directional fatigue of a Ti-TiB metal matrix composite (MMC) manufactured by PTA-SFFF. This investigation includes a rotating beam fatigue test in the fully reversed condition (stress ratio, R = −1), electron microscopy, and calculations for fatigue life predictions using Paris’ and modified Paris’ equations. The fatigue experiments were performed at 350 °C using specimen with the test axis oriented diagonally (45°) and parallel (90°) to the AM builds directions. The fatigue values from the current experiments along with literature data find that the Ti MMC manufactured via PTA-SFFF exhibit fatigue anisotropy reporting highest strength in 90° and lowest in perpendicular (0°) AM build directions. Furthermore, calculations were performed to evaluate the optimum values of the stress intensity modification factor (λ) for fatigue life prediction in 0°, 45°, and 90° AM build directions. It was found that for the specimens with 45°, and 90° AM build directions, the computed intensity modification factors were very similar. This suggests that the initial fatigue crack characteristics such as location, shape, and size were similar in both 45°, and 90° AM build directions. However, in 0° AM build direction, the computed stress intensity modification factor was different from that of the 45°, and 90° AM build directions. This indicates that the fatigue crack initiation at 0° AM build direction is different compared to the other two directions considered in this study. Moreover, the quality of fatigue life prediction was assessed by calculating R2 values for both Paris and modified Paris predictions. Using the R2 values, it was found that the fatigue life predictions made by the modified Paris equation resulted in improved prediction accuracy for all three builds, and the percentage improvement ranged from 30% to 60%. Additionally, electron microscopy investigations of 0°, 45°, and 90° AM build specimens revealed extensive damage to the TiB particle compared to the Ti matrix as well as frequent TiB clusters in all three AM build directions. These observations suggest that the spread of these TiB clusters plays a role in the fatigue anisotropy of Ti-TiB MMCs. Full article
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13 pages, 8648 KiB  
Article
Introducing Auxetic Behavior to Syntactic Foams
by Nejc Novak, Miha Kolar, Nima Movahedi, Matej Vesenjak, Zoran Ren and Thomas Fiedler
Metals 2024, 14(4), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/met14040387 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 770
Abstract
This paper proposes an innovative multi-material approach for introducing auxetic behaviour to syntactic foams (SFs). By carefully designing the size, shape, and orientation of the SFs, auxetic deformation behaviour was induced. Re-entrant hexagon-shaped SF elements were fabricated using expanded perlite (EP) particles and [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an innovative multi-material approach for introducing auxetic behaviour to syntactic foams (SFs). By carefully designing the size, shape, and orientation of the SFs, auxetic deformation behaviour was induced. Re-entrant hexagon-shaped SF elements were fabricated using expanded perlite (EP) particles and a plaster of Paris slurry first. Then, an auxetic pattern of these SF elements was arranged within a stainless-steel casting box. The empty spaces between the SF elements were filled with molten aluminium alloy (A356) using the counter-gravity infiltration casting technique. The cast auxetic composite had a bulk density of 1.52 g/cm3. The cast composite was then compressed under quasi-static loading to characterise its deformation behaviour and to determine the mechanical properties, especially the Poisson’s ratio. The cast composite deformation was auxetic with a Poisson’s ratio of −1.04. Finite Element (FE) simulations were conducted to understand the deformation mechanism better and provide means for further optimisation of the geometry. Full article
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12 pages, 11054 KiB  
Article
Microstructures and Antioxidation of W Self-Passivating Alloys: Synergistic Effect of Yttrium and Milling Time
by Shijie Chen, Lihong Xue, Shengming Yin, Youwei Yan and Qilai Zhou
Metals 2024, 14(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/met14020194 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Tungsten and its alloys are widely recognized as key components in high-temperature environments. In this study, self-passivating W-Si-xY alloys with varying Y content were prepared using mechanical alloying (MA) and spark plasma sintering (SPS). The synergistic effects of Y content and milling time [...] Read more.
Tungsten and its alloys are widely recognized as key components in high-temperature environments. In this study, self-passivating W-Si-xY alloys with varying Y content were prepared using mechanical alloying (MA) and spark plasma sintering (SPS). The synergistic effects of Y content and milling time on the microstructures and oxidation resistance of the alloys were revealed. This study found that the oxidation resistance of the alloys increased as the Y content increased. However, the effect of milling time on oxidation resistance was complex. For W-Si-xY alloys with low Y content (0Y and 2Y), the oxidation resistance decreased with increasing milling time. In contrast, for W-Si-xY alloys with high Y content (4Y and 6Y), the oxidation resistance increased with increasing milling time. This enhanced oxidation resistance is due to the microstructural changes in the protective composite layer, including the size and distribution of W5Si3, Y2Si2O7 aggregates, and W-Y-O melt. The thickness of the oxide layer on the W-Si-6Y alloy after being oxidized at 1000 °C for 2 h was only 70.7 μm, demonstrating its superior oxidation resistance. Full article
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16 pages, 16368 KiB  
Article
Novel Route for Preparing Diamond-Enhanced Cemented Carbides via Reactive Sintering
by Mathias von Spalden, Johannes Pötschke and Alexander Michaelis
Metals 2023, 13(11), 1908; https://doi.org/10.3390/met13111908 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1007
Abstract
Hardmetals are cemented carbides consisting of the hard ceramic phase WC and the ductile metallic binder Co. They offer an outstanding combination of hardness and fracture toughness. Hence, they have a widespread use across the manufacturing industry. However, due to the increasing requirements [...] Read more.
Hardmetals are cemented carbides consisting of the hard ceramic phase WC and the ductile metallic binder Co. They offer an outstanding combination of hardness and fracture toughness. Hence, they have a widespread use across the manufacturing industry. However, due to the increasing requirements for tool material, the combination of the beneficial properties of hardmetal and diamond is a long sought-after objective. In this work, a new approach was evaluated to reduce the formation of graphite due to the phase transformation of diamond during the sintering of compounds together with hardmetal. Earlier trials could not fully suppress the phase transformation despite using alternative Ni-instead of conventional Co-based binder systems and field-assisted sintering (FAST) to reduce required sintering temperatures and time. To lower the amount of graphite formed during sintering even further, a reactive sintering process was developed. The increased sinter activity due to the in situ synthesis of WC has the potential to decrease the needed temperature to achieve a pore-free compact. For the first time, a WC-Ni hardmetal produced from elemental powders was successfully used as a matrix in a diamond-enhanced cemented carbide (DECC). Different approaches regarding carbon sources and the extent of reactive material were pursued. The introduction of a carbon deficit by adding metallic W to a mixture of WC and Ni, which is essentially partial reactive sintering, leads to an increased relative density compared to the reference of 97.3%. Full article
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