Additive Manufacturing of Aluminium-Metal Matrix Composite developed through Mechanical Alloying
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AuthorsFamodimu, Omotoyosi Helen
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractLaser melting of aluminium alloy - AlSi10Mg has increasingly been used to create specialised products in aerospace and automotive applications. However, research on utilising laser melting of Aluminium matrix composites in replacing specialised parts have been slow on the uptake. This has been attributed to the complexity of the laser melting process, metal/ceramic feedstock for the process and the reaction of the feedstock material to the laser. Thus an understanding of the process, material microstructure and mechanical properties is important for its adoption as a manufacturing route of Aluminium Metal Matrix Composites. The effect of the processing parameters (time and speed) on embedding the Silicon Carbide onto the surface of the AlSi10Mg alloy was initially investigated in Phase 1 and 2 of the research. The particle shape and maximum particle size for each milling time and speed was analysed in determining a suitable starting powder for the Laser Melting phase. An ideal shape and size for the composite powder was obtained at 500 rev/min when milled for 20 mins. The effects of several parameters of the Laser Melting process on the mechanical blended composite were investigated. Single track formations of the matrix alloy, 5% Aluminium Metal Matrix Composites and 10% Aluminium Metal Matrix Composites were studied for their reaction to the laser melting in Phase 3. Subsequently in Phase 4, density blocks were studied at different scan speeds and step-over for surface roughness, relative density and porosity. These were utilised in determining a process window to fabricate near fully dense components. Phase 5 of the research focused on microstructural and mechanical properties of the laser melted matrix alloy using the normal parameters for the matrix alloy and the modified LM parameters for the composite powders. Test coupons were built in one orientation and some coupons were heat-treated to initiate precipitation-hardening intermetallics in the matrix and composite. This study investigates the suitability of the mechanical alloying as a novel method of producing feedstock material for the LM process. This research further explores the interaction of the composite powders with the laser until suitable process parameters were obtained. Furthermore, the fractography, mechanical and microstructural evolution of the Al/SiC composite, with different percentage volume reinforcement manufactured by the LM and subsequently heat treated, was explored for the first time.
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy