Identification and modelling of applicable wear conditions for stir cast Al-composite
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A comprehensive study of the tribological performance of the Al-Zn-Mg-Cu/Al2O3 composite and its matrix alloy is presented in this paper, with a specific emphasis to identify and model the applicable wear conditions where the composite provides a minimum of 50% reduction in wear rate and 25% lowering of the friction coefficient. Two-body abrasion experiments following Taguchi L27 orthogonal design have been performed separately on alloy and composite materials, both prepared by the stir casting method. The influence of crucial control factors including silicon carbide (SiC) abrasive size, load, sliding distance, and velocity on the percentage variations of wear rates and friction coefficients between alloy and composite have been studied using the analysis of variance technique and full quadratic regression method. The dominant control factors are identified as abrasive size, load, and the interaction between abrasive size and load. This has been verified by establishing the influence of abrasive size and load on variations of wear mechanisms like microcutting, microploughing, and delamination, identified by means of in-depth characterization of worn surfaces and generated debris for both alloy and composite. The selection of applicable tribological condition for the composite has been accomplished by adopting the multi-response optimization technique based on combined desirability approach to obtain concurrent optimization of the percentage variations of wear rates and friction coefficients. Predictive models correlating the superiority of tribological performance of composite with abrasion conditions have been developed, and these are found to be accurate (errors <10%), as determined by confirmatory experiment.
Keywordsaluminum matrix composite tribology design of experiment Taguchi multi-response optimization abrasion mechanism
The authors recognize the support obtained from the Centre of Excellence on Microstructurally Designed Advanced Materials Development under TEQIP-II, IIEST Shibpur. The assistance granted from DST-FIST to set up Advanced Tribology Laboratory under the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIEST Shibpur is also highly appreciated.
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