Processing of Al–SiCp Metal Matrix Composites by Pressureless Infiltration of SiCp Preforms

  • M. I. Pech-Canul
  • M. M. Makhlouf


An optimum method for producing Al-SiCp metal matrix composites was developed by determining the optimum conditions for wetting SiC by aluminum and the optimum parameters for pressureless infiltration of SiCp preforms. The quantitative effect of magnesium and silicon additions to aluminum, free silicon on the SiC substrate, nitrogen gas in the atmosphere, and process temperature on the wetting characteristics of SiC by aluminum alloys was investigated using the sessile drop technique. The contribution of each of these parameters and their interactions, in terms of a relative power, to the contact angle, surface tension, and driving force for wetting were determined. In addition, an optimized process for enhanced wetting was suggested and validated. The optimum conditions for wetting SiC by aluminum that were arrived at were used to infiltrate SiCp preforms and the mechanical properties of the resulting metal matrix composites were measured. The effect of SiC particle size, infiltration time, preform height, vol.% SiC in the preform, and Si coating on the SiC particles on the pressureless infiltration of SiCp compacts with aluminum was investigated and quantified. The contribution of each of these parameters and their interactions to the retained porosity in the composite, the modulus of elasticity, and the modulus of rupture were determined. Under optimum infiltration conditions, metal matrix composites with less than 3% porosity, over 200 GPa modulus of elasticity, and about 300 MPa modulus of rupture were routinely produced.

Al MMCs wettability pressureless infiltration SiCp preforms modulus of elasticity modulus of rupture 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    D. Weiss, B. Chamberlain, and R. Bruski, Modern Casting, 58 (2000).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. Suresh, A. Mortensen, and A. Needleman, Fundamentals of Metal Matrix Composites (Butterworth-Heinemann Co., Stoneham, MA, 1993).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. R. Davis, Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys, ASM Specialty Handbook (ASM International, Materials Park, OH, 1998).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. K. Aghajanian, M. A. Rocazella, J. T. Burke, and S. D. Keck, J. Mater. Sci. 26, 447 (1991).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    D. R. White, A. W. Urquhart, and M. K. Aghajanian: United States Patent Number 5,395,701 (1995).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R. Asthana, J. Mater. Synthesis Processing 5, 252 (1997).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. U. Ejiofor and R. G. Reddy, JOM 49, 31 (1997).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    K. B. Lee, Y. S. Kim, and H. Kwon, Metall. Mater. Trans. A 29A, 3087 (1998).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    T. Wada, D. J. Adenis, and T. B. Cox, United States Patent Number 4,753,690 (1988).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    F. Delannay, L. Froyen, and A. Deruyttere, J. Mater. Sci. 22, 1 (1987).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    I. A. Ibrahim, F. A. Mohamed, and E. J. Lavernia, J. Mater. Sci. 26, 1137 (1991).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    M. I. Pech-Canul, R. N. Katz. and M. M. Makhlouf, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, unpublished research, 1998.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    A. W. Adamson, Physical Chemistry of Surfaces [Wiley (Interscience), New York, 1960].Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    L. E. Murr, Interfacial Phenomena in Metals and Alloys (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1975).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    T. Iiada and R. I. L. Guthrie, The Physical Properties of Liquid Metals (Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, 1988).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    V. Laurent, D. Chatain, and N. Eustathopoulos, J. Mater. Sci. 22, 244 (1987).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    J. Goicoechea, C. Garcia-Cordovilla, E. Louis, and A. Pamies, J. Mater. Sci. 27, 5247 (1992).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    A. Alonso, C. Garcia-Cordovilla, E. Louis, J. Narciso, and A. Pamies, J. Mater. Sci. 29, 4729 (1994).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    B. C. Pai, Geetha Ramani, R. M. Pillai, and K. G. Satyanarayana, J. Mater. Sci. 30, 1903 (1995).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    T. Iseki, T. Kameda, and T. Maruyama, J. Mater. Sci. 19, 1692 (1984).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    J. C. Viala, P. Fortier, and J. Bouix, J. Mater. Sci. 25, 1842 (1990).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    A. Alonso, J. Narciso, A. Pamies, C. Garcia-Cordovilla, and E. Louis, Scripta Metall. Mater. 29, 1559 (1993).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    R. Y. Lin, R. J. Arsenault, G. P. Martins, and S. G. Fishman, Interfaces in Metal–Ceramic Composites (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, Warrandale, PA, 1990).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    K. A. Semlak and F. N. Rhines, Trans. AIME 212, 325 (1958).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    A. Meier, D. A. Javernick, and G. R. Edwards, JOM 51, 44 (1999).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    S. Y. Oh, J. A. Cornie, and K. C. Russell, Metall. Trans. A. 20A, 527 (1989).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    R. Roy, A Primer on the Taguchi Method (Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1990).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    R. A. Flinn and P. K. Trojan, Engineering Materials and Their Applications (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA, 1990).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    V. Laurent, D. Chatain, and N. Eustathopoulos, J. Mater. Sci. Eng. A135, 89 (1991).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    R. L. Mehan and D. W. Mckee, J. Mater. Sci. 11, 1009 (1976).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    J. E. Hatch, Aluminum, Properties, and Physical Metallurgy (American Society for Metals, Metals Park, OH, 1984).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    S. Y. Oh, J. A. Cornie, and K. C. Russell, Metal. Trans. A. 20A, 533 (1989).Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Q. Hou, R. Mutharasan, and M. Koczak, J. Mater. Sci. Eng. A195, 121 (1995).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    J. C. Viala, F. Bosselet, V. Laurent, and Y. Lepetitcorps, J. Mater. Sci. 28, 5301 (1993).Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    T. Y. Kosolapova, Carbides Properties, Production and Applications (Plenum Press, New York, 1971).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    L. Salvo, G. L. Espérance, M. Suéry, and G. L. Legoux, J. Mater. Sci. Eng. A177, 173 (1994).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. I. Pech-Canul
    • 1
  • M. M. Makhlouf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcester

Personalised recommendations