Third party funded individual grant
New casting approach for the production of particle reinforced aluminium components

Project Details
Start date: 22/09/2014
End date: 21/09/2018

Abstract (technical / expert description):

The aim involved in designing metal matrix composite materials is to combine the desirable properties of metals and ceramics. The addition of high strength, high modulus refractory particles to a ductile metal matrix produces MMCs whose mechanical properties are excellent, such as high strength to weight ratio, high stiffness and good wear resistance. Due to these excellent attributes, MMCs are widely used in aerospace, automobiles, etc.
Among the variety of manufacturing processes available for particle reinforced aluminum materials, stir casting is generally accepted as a particularly promising approach as a result of its simplicity, flexibility, applicability to large quantity production and low costs of production. Though, in preparing particle reinforced aluminum materials by stir casting, we have to consider the following difficulties:
(1) How to achieve a uniform distribution of the reinforcement material.
(2) Promoting the wettability between the two main substances;
(3) Control chemical reactions between the reinforcement material and the matrix alloy.
A new high shear technology can be applied in producing particle reinforced aluminum materials. The aluminum melt is strongly sheared in the semi-liquid or liquid state. The high shear forces produced by a special designed impeller lead to very homogeneous dispersions of additives like particles. In addition, shearing has influence on the homogeneity of the melt and leads to finer grain structures. These effects are expected to be beneficial for the fabrication of metal matrix composites. Therefore, the particular focus of the project is to use shear device to introduce particles into an aluminum melt before die casting and the main aim is to evaluate the potential of the new high shear technology for conditioning of aluminum melts for pressure die casting.

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Last updated on 2017-06-30 at 09:42
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