Oral The Production of Light Alloy Metal Matrix Composites Containing Nanoparticles
Development of high performance light alloys is key for the aerospace and automotive industries. This paper introduces away to increase the properties of current alloys by introduction of nanomaterials into the metal matrix. Industrial scaleapplication of metal matrix composites (MMC) is usually limited by the complexity of MMC production and the scalabilityof the manufacturing process. A novel method of production of master alloys has recently been developed at the Universityof Birmingham. This method includes fabrication of porous media from nanomaterial (preform) andfurther infiltrationofpreform with the liquid metal. Magnesium master alloys with the loading from 15vol% to 30vol% of SiC nanomaterial have beenproduced. The method of production of the preform using starch consolidation is described. Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) of aspecially designed mild steel container has been used to infiltrate the preform. The high pressure available during HIP process(up to 150MPa) ensures infiltration of the magnesium alloy to full density. The preform is at the same temperature as the metalduring infiltration.The master alloy could be diluted during convention melting process to produce a nanocomposite with 2% loading. Somepreliminary mechanical properties for the composite are presented.This work was undertaken as a part of the European Community funded FP7 research project ExoMet “Physical Processingof Molten Light Alloys under the Influence of External Fields”.