A Novel Method for Incorporation of Micron-Sized SiC Particles into Molten Pure Aluminum Utilizing a Co Coating
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Ceramic particles typically do not have sufficiently high wettability by molten metal for effective bonding during metal matrix composite fabrication. In this study, a novel method has been used to overcome this drawback. Micron-sized SiC particles were coated by a cobalt metallic layer using an electroless deposition method. A layer of cobalt on the SiC particles was produced prior to incorporation in molten pure aluminum in order to improve the injected particle bonding with the matrix. For comparison, magnesium was added to the melt in separate experiments as a wetting agent to assess which method was more effective for particle incorporation. It was found that both of these methods were more effective as regard ceramic particulate incorporation compared with samples produced with as-received SiC particles injected into the pure aluminum matrix. SEM images indicated that cobalt coating of the particles was more effective than magnesium for incorporation of fine SiC particles (below 30 µm), while totally the incorporation percentage of the particles was higher for a sample in which Mg was added as a wetting agent. In addition, microhardness tests revealed that the cobalt coating leads to the fabrication of a harder composite due to increased amount of ceramic incorporation, ceramic-matrix bonding, and possibly also to formation of Al-Co intermetallic phases.
KeywordsCeramic Particle Molten Aluminum Cobalt Coating Microhardness Test Result Molten Pure Aluminum
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