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Research Papers: Friction and Wear

An Experimental Investigation on Mechanical and Wear Properties of Al7075/SiCp Composites: Effect of SiC Content and Particle Size

[+] Author and Article Information
Thella Babu Rao

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
K L University,
Green Fields, Guntur District,
Vaddeswaram 522 502, Andhra Pradesh, India
e-mail: thellababurao@gmail.com

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received May 26, 2017; final manuscript received August 16, 2017; published online October 19, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Nuria Espallargas.

J. Tribol 140(3), 031601 (Oct 19, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: TRIB-17-1198; doi: 10.1115/1.4037845 History: Received May 26, 2017; Revised August 16, 2017

One of the major advantages of metal matrix composites (MMCs) is that their tailorable properties meet the specific requirements of a particular application. This paper deals with the experimental investigations done on the effects of the reinforcement particulate size and content on the Al7075/SiC composite. The composites were manufactured using stir casting technique. The effect of SiC particle size (25, 50, and 75 μm) and particulate content (5, 10, and 15 wt %) on the microstructural, mechanical properties, and wear rate of the composites was studied and the results were analyzed for varied conditions of reinforcement. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) examinations were used to assess the dispersion of SiC particles reinforced into the matrix alloy and was found with reasonably uniform with minimal particle agglomerations and with good interfacial bonding between the particles and matrix material. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed the presence of Al and SiC with the composite. The results of mechanical tests showed that the increasing SiC particle size and content considerably enhanced the ultimate tensile strength and hardness of the composites while the ductility at this condition was decreased. The highest ultimate tensile strength of 310 MPa and hardness of 126 BHN were observed for the composites containing 15 wt %. SiC at 75 μm. Lesser the wear resistance of the reference alloy while it was enhanced up to 40% with the composites. The wear resistance was increased up to 1200 m of sliding distance for all the composites, whereas for the composite containing 75 μm SiC particles, it was extended up to 1800 m.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of experimental setup for manufacturing MMCs

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Fig. 2

Scanning electron microscope micrographs of as-received SiC of different particle sizes: (a) 25 μm, (b) 50 μm, and (c) 75 μm

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Fig. 3

Solidified composite melt in mild steel die

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Fig. 4

Scanning electron microscope micrographs shows the dispersion of (a) 5 wt %, (b) 10 wt %, and (c) 15 wt % SiC particulate of size 25 μm

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Fig. 5

Scanning electron microscope micrographs shows the dispersion of (a) 5 wt %, (b) 10 wt %, and (c) 15 wt % SiC particulate of size 50 μm

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Fig. 6

Scanning electron microscope micrographs shows the dispersion of (a) 5 wt %, (b) 10 wt %, and (c) 15 wt % SiC particulate of size 75 μm

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Fig. 7

(a) Scanning electron microscope micrograph depicting the cleaner interface between the reinforcement and the matrix and (b) X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of Al7075/15% SiCp composite

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Fig. 10

Percentage enhancement in ultimate tensile strength with SiC particle content and size

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Fig. 8

The specimens for tensile test

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Fig. 9

The variation of ultimate tensile strength with SiC particle content and size

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Fig. 11

Percentage of elongation with SiC particle content and size

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Fig. 12

Samples after hardness test

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Fig. 13

Effect of SiC particle content and size on hardness

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Fig. 14

(a) Samples for wear testing and (b) the pin-on-disk wear setup for wear testing

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Fig. 15

The effect of SiC particulate content on the wear rate at 25 μm particulate size

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Fig. 16

The effect of SiC particulate content on the wear rate at 50 μm particulate size

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Fig. 17

The effect of SiC particulate content on the wear rate at 75 μm particulate size

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Fig. 18

The worn morphology of the surfaces: (a) Al7075 alloy, (b) Al7075/5%SiCp, (c) Al7075/10%SiCp, and (d) Al7075/15%SiCp samples

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