Effects of ZrC content and mechanical alloying on the microstructural and mechanical properties of hypoeutectic Al-7 wt.% Si composites prepared by spark plasma sintering

Ağaoğulları D.

CERAMICS INTERNATIONAL, vol.45, no.10, pp.13257-13268, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2019.04.013
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.13257-13268
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper reports on the preparation of ZrC particulate-reinforced Al-7 wt.% Si composites by using a consecutive method of mechanical alloying (MA) and spark plasma sintering (SPS). Al, Si (7 wt.%), and ZrC (0, 2, 5, and 10 wt.%) powders were blended and mechanically alloyed (MA'd) for 4 h in a high-energy vibratory ball mill. Subsequently, SPS (at 450 degrees C for 210 s) was carried out on non-MA'd and MA'd powders. Dissimilar to the inhomogeneous microstructure of the non-MA'd powders, the 4 h MA'd powders exhibited a homogeneous morphology with semi-equiaxed particles that revealed a lower average crystallite size and higher average lattice strain. Furthermore, microstructural, physical, and mechanical characterizations were performed on the spark plasma sintered (SPS'd) composites. The mechanical characterizations showed that MA'd/SPS'd Al-7 wt.% Si-5 wt.% ZrC composite displayed the highest hardness and strength values among all the fabricated composites. It exhibited a hardness of 1.52 +/- 0.16 GPa, yield strength of 327.56 +/- 7.16 MPa, and compressive strength of 406.42 +/- 2.82 MPa. Besides, the MA'd/SPS'd Al-7 wt.% Si-10 wt.% ZrC composite exhibited the lowest wear rate of 0.0022 mm(3)/N.m, which was approximately 46% of that of the unreinforced composite (0.0048 mm(3)/N.m). It can be stated that the addition of ZrC and application of MA effectively improved the microstructural and mechanical properties of the composites.