Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10


The Engineering materials can be classified into metals, polymers, ceramics and composites. Composite material is defined as the combination of two or more distinct materials having a recognizable interface between them. Composites based on metals and alloys are known as Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs). MMCs can be broadly classified as Homogeneous and Functionally Graded MMCs (FGMMC) based on nature of reinforcement distribution. The MMCs can be tailored to have superior properties such as high specific strength and stiffness, enhanced high temp performance, better fatigue and creep resistance to those of monolithic alloys. MMCs have the potential applications in the areas of aerospace, automotive, defense, electronics, and other advanced structures. There are several fabrication techniques to obtain homogeneous MMCs such as Stir casting, Squeeze casting and Liquid metal infiltration. Hole making is among the most important operations in the manufacturing. In automotive engine production, the cost of hole making is one of the largest machining costs. Drilling is a major and common hole making process and other process of making holes are punching and various advanced machining processes.

The drilling process is employed prior to the assembly stage for fastening and riveting purposes. Drilling of MMCs pose many problems to the manufacturing engineers such as high drilling forces, tool wear, and burr. In view of the growing engineering applications of these composites, a need for detailed and systematic study of the drilling characteristics and mach inability is envisaged. It is important to understand the drilling process in MMCs for choosing suitable tool material and producing quality holes . Drilling has characteristics like high production rate; labour skill required depends on hole location and accuracy specified. .


2.1 Composites Composite material is defined as the combination of two or more distinct materials having a recognizable interface between them. Composite differs fundamentally from conventional engineering materials in that a second phase material is usually added to produce performance and characteristic not possible by monolithic material . The major constituents of Composite materials are Matrix, reinforcement and interface. The Matrix is the continuous phase binding and keeping the reinforcements in position and orientation and transfers the load to and between the reinforcements and protects the reinforcement from the environment and handling production by various production techniques and posses high specific strength and good corrosion resistance. The reinforcement is the second phase material added to matrix alloys, which enhances the strength, stiffness, wear, creep resistance of composites. Dispersoids like oxides, carbides, and nitrides of different elements impart some special properties to composites such as enhanced wear resistance and reduced density at expense of strength. . Interface is the region that lies between the matrix and reinforcement. Mainly there are three types of composite materials depending upon the matrix material used viz.,

Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC)

Ceramic Matrix composites (CMC)

2.2 Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) Composites based on metals and alloys are known as Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs). MMCs can be broadly classified as Homogeneous and Functionally Graded MMCs based on the nature of reinforcement distribution and functional characteristics. The MMCs can be tailored to have superior properties such as high specific strength and stiffness, enhanced high temp performance, better fatigue and creep resistance to those of monolithic alloys . 2.3 Processing of MMC Different techniques are used to fabricate MMC. The processing methods of MMC are divided into primary process and secondary process. Primary process is the one in which matrix and reinforcements are combined to produce basic composite systems and their structures. The secondary process involves processing of primary processed composites with the objective of improving their mechanical properties. The Figure 2.1 shows the microstructure of 6061 Al alloy (matrix), SiC (Reinforcement) and Homogeneous Metal Matrix Composites. The Primary processing techniques may be classified in to Liquid state and solid-state process.

2.3.1 Liquid state primary process:

Liquid state process utilizes either fully or partially molten matrix material during the fabrication of the composites. Metals having melting point that is not too high, such as aluminium are easily processed by liquid route. The details of some important liquid state processes are given below. Stir casting or Liquid Metallurgy technique In this process the second phase materials are introduced into molten matrix alloy and the molten metal is stirred vigorously. This mechanical stirring develops vortex. Now the dispersoids are added through the vortex. The vortex pulls the dispersoids inside by breaking the Al2O3 film over the melt and subsequently distributes. Since the vortex has the tendency to take the gases along with the dispersoid it is essential to degas the melt using a dry nitrogen gas stream . The other ways for introducing dispersoids are by inert gas introduction pellet method, ultrasonic dispersion method . Among these the vortex method seems to be most simple and popular. For making the composite components from the liquid charge, different forming routes are used such as squeeze casting, centrifugal casting, pressure die-casting and investment casting. .

6061 Al alloy Matrix SiC Reinforcement Metal Matrix Composites Infiltration process This is one of the oldest methods to fabricate MMC . Infiltration involves the synthesis of composites by infiltrating the liquid metal through the interstitials of a porous preform made out of reinforcement material. The infiltration of liquid metal could be made with or with out the application of an external force . In this process a bundle or beds of fibers, whiskers, or particulates are kept in a mold and liquid metal is infiltrated through the bed using pressure or pressureless method. The pressure may be vacuum or squeeze pressure or combination of both. In order to facilitate larger penetration by reducing the premature solidification, normally the bed is heated to the temperature nearer to the melting point of the infiltrating alloy .

In pressure infiltration process application of an external force enables infiltration of even non-wetting items . In this process preform of aluminosilicate fibers in organic fugitive binders with different fiber densities are prepared. Then these preforms are cut into required shapes and kept inside the component die and heated to about 500 0C. The liquid aluminium alloy was poured over the hot preform and the molten metal was subjected to pressure using the top punch. The

liquid metal infiltrates through the preform and the organic binder escapes. One can make near net shape components with this preforms . In vacuum infiltration, providing the large pressure difference by creating a vacuum around the reinforcement infiltrates the liquid metal. This process was applied in infiltrating Al-Li alloy into alumina preforms and Magnesium into Al2O3 or SiC preform. The other applied forces are vibration, centrifugal force . Spray deposition process In spray Deposition process, the molten metal is atomized and mixed with the reinforcement stream and deposited on substrate to produce composite product. In some cases the molten metal is sprayed onto the reinforcement placed on the substrate alternatively . The spray deposition techniques fall into two distinct classes, depending whether the droplet stream is produced from a molten bath, or continuous feeding of cold metal into a zone of rapid heat injection.

In this process the matrix alloy normally in the form of wire is fed to a spraying torch where Oxyacetylene flame provides heat to melt the alloy. The reinforcement materials are fed through another inlet with the help of high-pressure inert gas. The molten metal comes in contact with the reinforcements and they get deposited in the form of slug inside the chamber. These slugs can be heated to suitable temperatures for further processing. By adjusting the metal and reinforcement feed rate, volume fraction of the dispersion can be controlled in the composite . In-situ processes The process of generating the reinforcement material by chemical reactions from the matrix alloy with the introduction of selective additives is termed as Insitu process and the composites thus produced are known as In-situ composites . Example: TiB2 reinforced aluminium have been made by heating Ti, B and Al powders at 800 oC to form TiB2. 2.3.2 Solid-state primary process A description of some important solid-state processes are given here Power blending and consolidation Blending of metallic powder with ceramic fibers or particulates is a versatile technique for MMC production. Cold compaction, canning, evacuation, degassing and a high temperature consolidation stage such as Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) or extrusion usually follow this . The advantage is use of low temperature compared to the liquid state processes minimizes the undesirable interfacial reactions and so enhance the mechanical properties . Diffusion bonding Diffusion bonding is a common solid state welding technique used to join similar or dissimilar metals. In this process matrix alloy foil and fiber arrays, composite wire are stacked in predetermined order and simultaneous pressure and temperature is applied . This process is mainly used for fabricating hybrid composites by placing alternative layers of hybrid fibers and thin metallic foils followed by hot pressing . The major advantage of this techniques are the ability to process a wide variety of matrix metals and control of fiber orientation and volume fraction and the disdvantages are processing time of several hours, high processing temperatures and pressures that are expensive, and objects of limited size can be produced .

2.4 Applications of Metal Matrix Composites Metal matrix composites have emerged as one of the advanced engineering materials having the potential application in the areas of aerospace, automotive, defense, electronics, general engineering and other advanced structures. In aerospace applications, the particulate reinforced MMCs are used for structural and non-structural applications . In aerospace field the reduction of weight is an important criteria, for example in Hubble Telescope continuous carbon fiber reinforced aluminium was used for wave guide booms because of its light weight

with high elastic modulus and low coefficient of thermal expansion. One of the important applications of MMC in the automotive area is in diesel piston crowns. This application involves incorporation of short fibers of alumina in the crown of piston. Aluminium matrix composite results in a lighter, more abrasion resistant and cheaper product. In commercial field, Duralcan Particulate MMCs are used to make mountain cycles. In Electronics field, Metal matrix composites can be tailored to have optimal thermal and physical properties to meet the requirements of electronics packaging systems (e.g. Cores, substrates, carriers, and housings).