Improvement of the mechanical properties of Al-Si alloys by TiC nanoparticles

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Al-Si alloy A356 was modified by TiC nanoparticles. First, the nanoparticles were mechanochemically activated together with aluminum powder. Next, the activated particles were hot extruded in a home-made extruder. Finally, nanoparticles thus prepared in the aluminum matrix were added to the liquid Al-Si alloy, which was then cast into sand molds. A comparison of the microstructure and mechanical properties of the modified alloy thus produced with those of the alloy without the nanoparticles demonstrated that the grain size of the modified alloy decreased. The mechanical properties determined after T6 heat treatment indicated unusual behavior, where the elongation of the modified alloys increased by 20 to 50 pct in different regions of the cast, while the tensile strength remained unchanged and the hardness increased by 18 pct. An electron microscopy study revealed concentration of dislocations near grain boundaries in the modified alloy samples. These grain boundaries serve as obstacles to dislocation motion. It was therefore concluded that the improvement in the mechanical properties of the aluminum alloy modified by TiC nanoparticles was caused by the grain-size-strengthening mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4948-4953
Number of pages6
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


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