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In-situ reactions in hybrid aluminum alloy composites during incorporating silica sand in aluminum alloy melts

College of Engineering & Applied Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211, United States

Topical Section: Advanced composites

In order to gain a better understanding of the reactions and strengthening behavior in cast aluminum alloy/silica composites synthesized by stir mixing, experiments were conducted to incorporate low cost foundry silica sand into aluminum composites with the use of Mg as a wetting agent. SEM and XRD results show the conversion of SiO2 to MgAl2O4 and some Al2O3 with an accompanying increase in matrix Si content. A three-stage reaction mechanism proposed to account for these changes indicates that properties can be controlled by controlling the base Alloy/SiO2/Mg chemistry and reaction times. Experimental data on changes of composite density with increasing reaction time and SiO2 content support the three-stage reaction model. The change in mechanical properties with composition and time is also described.
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