Microstructure and fracture in SiC whisker reinforced 2124 aluminum compositeThe microstructures of extruded and hot-rolled 2124 Al-15 percent (by weight) SiC whisker composites have been investigated, experimentally. Among the specific factors studied were: the strength of the whisker-matrix interfaces; (2) the presence of oxides; (3) the presence of defective whiskers; (4) and the presence of distribution of intermetallic compounds, impurities in the SiC(w) powder, and microstructural inhomogeneities. Modifications in the microstructure of the SiC/AL composites due to hot rolling and extrusion are illustrated in a series of microphotographs. It was found that hot rolling along the axis of extrusion was associated with some types of whisker damage, while the whiskers still retain their original orientation. Hot-rolling perpendicular to the axis of extrusion, however, tended to rotate the whiskers and produced a nearly isotropic material. Whisker free zones were virtually eliminated or reduced in size by hot rolling. In situ Auger fractography of the composite showed that the interfacial bonding between the SiC and the Al matrix was good and that Al2O2 had no significant influence on the fracture mechanics of the composite.
Nieh, T. G. (Lockheed Research Laboratories Palo Alto, CA, United States)
Raninen, R. A. (Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. Palo Alto, CA, United States)
Chellman, D. J. (Lockheed-California Co. Burbank, United States)