Globally, in the application of structural materials, aluminum composites are emerging as pioneer materials due to balanced properties like ductility, strength, hardness and weight to volume ratio. It is obvious that addition of harder steel powder reinforcements to the softer aluminum alloy matrix will yield in larger benefits as energy efficient method, durability and recyclability for the composite. Infact, improvement in hardness levels at low temperatures in softer matrix aluminium alloys is the order of the day for wear related applications. Aluminum alloy composites especially Al 7075 matrix containing solid state soluble elements like copper, zinc and silicon with or without wetting agents like magnesium are heat treatable and got medium strength. The alloy matrix dispersed with solid reinforcements like carbides, oxides, flyash and steel powder contribute for the property improvement by tailoring the suitable heat treatment with flexibility in process parameters. Cold deformation assisted heat treatments, prior to or post solutionising challenge conventional heat treatments like age hardening or precipitation hardening. When the cold deformation is provided before solution treatment increases hardness by strain hardening with increased nucleation sites for phase transformation. When partial solutionising is given to the cold deformed composite retains the partial strain hardening effect on the specimen compared to complete solutionising. The retention of partial strain hardening followed by further aging develops complex interaction effect of strain hardening coupled with controlled precipitation of intermetallics on the composite for drastic uplift in hardness property. During conventional age hardening hardness and strength of the samples increase. Reduction in peak hardness value with increasing aging temperature is the renowned behaviour of age hardenable composites. The obtained peak hardness value is further increasing when cold deformation is supported with prior intentional deformation. Considering these features, it is proposed to perform prior solutionising deformation followed by subsequent aging on the stir cast Al 7075 –steel powder reinforced composite and analyse the microstructure and hardness distribution pattern by varying the steel powder quantity (0, 3 and 6 wt%), deformation density (10 and 20%) and aging temperatures (100 and 180oC). There was better distribution of reinforcements in the matrix, higher peak hardness with the increase in deformation density and reinforcement quantity in the matrix. Higher peak hardness is observed at lower aging temperature with reduction in the peak age duration in the composites at all other variable conditions like, reinforcement quantity, degree of deformation.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering|
|Issue number||2 Special Issue 11|
|Publication status||Published - 09-2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management of Technology and Innovation