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Improvements in microstructure and mechanical properties of Al–Si–Cu alloy–Al2O3 nanocomposite modified by ZrO2

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2014

Rahman Bajmalu Rostami*
Faculty of Materials Engineering and Metallurgy, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran35131–19111
Mohammad Tajally*
Faculty of Materials Engineering and Metallurgy, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran35131–19111
a)Address all correspondence to these authors. e-mail:
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In the present research, the microstructures and mechanical properties of Al–Si–Cu alloy matrix composites reinforced with nanosized alumina (Al2O3) and zirconia (ZrO2) were investigated. For this purpose, Al2O3 particulates were replaced with different wt% of ZrO2 to improve microstructure and mechanical properties. The T6 heat treatment was also performed to investigate mechanical properties in heat-treated condition. Tensile testing, hardness measurement, optical microscopy, x-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscope examination were used to characterize the behavior of composite and matrix. The highest tensile strength was achieved in the specimen containing 1.25 wt% ZrO2 and 0.75 wt% Al2O3, which shows an increase to 36% in comparison with the nonreinforced base alloy. The hardness values indicated 11% increase following the heat treatment. Fracture surface examinations revealed a transition from ductile fracture mode in as-cast aluminum alloy to rather brittle in Al–Si–Cu alloy matrix hybrid composites.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2014 

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