The effect of SiC content in aluminum-based metal matrix composites on the microstructure and mechanical properties of welded joints

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Journal of Materials Research and Technology


Aluminum metal matrix composites of the varying percentage of SiC reinforcement were welded using the tungsten inert gas welding technique. For all the conditions of the specimen, the welding parameters were kept identical. The welded composites were thermally aged to peak age-hardening conditions. Significant differences in microstructure exist between aged and non-age hardened composites in terms of misorientation, grain boundary fractions and stored energy. These differences in microstructure were seen through identical changes in the mechanical behavior of the welded composites. After aging, microstructure showed refinement in grain size and preferential orientation. Hardness and tensile strength increased at different rates with increase in SiC content indicating that hardness was a clear function of stored energy and strength had a dependence on the misorientation. EBSD measured suggests that due to age hardening, a rearrangement in dislocation substructures occurred with precipitation of Mg2Si or increasing SiC content followed by dynamic recovery of the weld metal region which leads to enhancement of hardness. The increase in tensile strength with decreased misorientation was a clear indication that the effect of annihilation of dislocations as a result of recovery was less pronounced and precipitation strengthening was dominant. The present study aims to address the role of SiC addition in aluminum metal matrix composites on the welded microstructure and finally relating the microstructural changes to the observed mechanical behavior of the welded joints. The study reveals that strength not only depends on the average value of misorientation but also on the distribution of misorientation in the microstructure.

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