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research-article

Microstructure and Tribological Performance of Alumina Aluminum Matrix Composites Manufactured by Enhanced Stir Casting Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Santanu Sardar

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, Howrah - 711103, West Bengal, India
san_becme.rs2013@mech.iiests.ac.in

Santanu Kumar Karmakar

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, Howrah - 711103, West Bengal, India
skk@mech.iiests.ac.in

Debdulal Das

Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, Howrah - 711103, West Bengal, India
debdulal_das@metal.iiests.ac.in

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042198 History: Received June 13, 2018; Revised November 24, 2018

Abstract

Al Zn Mg Cu matrix composites reinforced with (0 20 wt.%) Al2O3 particles have been manufactured by enhanced stir casting technique. Microstructural characterization of cast composites by optical, FESEM, EDS and XRD reveals homogeneous distribution of reinforcements in Al alloy matrix with MgZn2 plus Al2CuMg intermetallics. With increasing particle content, hardness of composite enhances considerably in spite of marginal rise in porosity. Tribological performance under two-body abrasion has been studied considering central composite design apart from identification of mechanisms of wear via characterizations of abraded surfaces and debris. Composites exhibit significantly reduced wear rate and coefficient of friction (COF) irrespective of test conditions, since mechanisms of abrasion are observed to change from microploughing and microcutting in unreinforced alloy to mainly delamination with limited microploughing in composites. Effects of four independent factors (reinforcement content, load, abrasive grit size and sliding distance) on wear behaviour have been evaluated using response surface based ANOVA technique. Dominant factors on both wear rate and COF are identified as reinforcement content followed by grit size and load. Combined optimization of wear rate and COF employing multiresponse optimization technique with desirability approach as well as regression models of individual responses have been developed, and their adequacies are validated by confirmatory tests. The developed mathematical models provide further insight on the complex interactions amongst wear performances of the selected materials and variables of abrasive system. The optimum amount of reinforcement is identified at around 15 wt.% for achieving the lowest values of both wear rate and COF.

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