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Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352

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Materials and Design


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/matdes

Technical Report

Fracture toughness of recycled AISI 1040 steel chip reinforced


AlMg1SiCu aluminum chip composites
Reshad Guluzade a, Ahmet Avc a,, M. Turan Demirci b, . Faruk Erkendirci c
a

Selcuk University, Mechanical Engineering Dep., Konya, Turkey


Selcuk University, Mechanical Education Dep., Konya, Turkey
c
Gaziantep University, Gaziantep Technical College, Gaziantep, Turkey
b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 21 February 2013
Accepted 10 May 2013
Available online 24 May 2013

a b s t r a c t
In this paper, a method of recycling aluminum and steel chip is presented by applying powder methodology. This method consists of the composite production, cold pressing, a new sintering method, denition of mechanical properties and fracture toughness. AISI 1040 steel chip was used as reinforcement
materials and AlMg1SiCu aluminum chip were used as matrix materials. AISI 1040 steel chip reinforcement was added into the matrix for 20%, 30% and 40% weight ratios. To determine the mechanical behaviors of composites, compressive strength, three point bending, hardness and fracture toughness, initial
notch depth method tests were performed at ambient condition. It was observed that steel chip reinforcement provided increased compressive strength and hardness, but the fracture toughness of composites decreased versus to increasing steel content. Considering analyses of microscopic micrographs of
composites (SEM), by increasing steel content causes an increase in the angular facets on fracture
surfaces.
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Manufacturing sintered products by powder metallurgy method has been developed gradually in recent years. Especially, when
the recycling technologies for manufacturing have progressed, use
of waste products in metal industries comes into prominences [1].
In metal industries, waste and scrap metals that remain after
manufacturing processing are chip and discards. These waste
materials are reutilized by returning them to smelters. However,
during melting processes of materials for recycling, many metals
are lost due to occurring oxidation and costs of labor, energy and
environmental protection expenditures [2]. To overcome these disadvantages, there are different ways of recycling metal chip, consisting in the direct conversion of chip into compact metal. One
of them contains granulation which remains after cutting process,
then cold pressing and sintering processes. This type of recycling
can be applied to iron, copper, aluminum, to some extent to cast
metals and their alloys [3].
In the melting process for recycling aluminum waste and
scrap, approximately 10% of it is burst and approximately 10%
of it is lost on account of aluminum waste and scraps with the
slag removed from surface of the ladle [4]. The reason for the substantial losses of aluminum and aluminum alloys waste is due to
the rather long period of time in which it remains on the surface

Corresponding author. Tel.: +90 332 223 1907; fax: +90 332 241 01 56.
E-mail address: turandemirci@selcuk.edu.tr (M. Turan Demirci).
0261-3069/$ - see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2013.05.025

as molten aluminum and oxidizes intensively [2]. Therefore, powder methodology containing cold pressing and sintering processes
can be used to overcome all the disadvantages of recycling of aluminum waste chip. Aluminum chip especially are derived from
machining operations. For cold pressing and sintering, chip size
and irregular elongated spiral shapes make them unsuitable to
the cold pressing conditions. For obtaining optimum size and
shape of the chip, they must be broken into to small pieces by
milling processes.
Gronostajski et al. [5] investigated new methods for aluminum
and aluminum alloy chip recycling and compared conventional
and direct methods. Gronostajski et al. [6] in their study used the
direct recycling method which contains cold press molding and
hot extrusion. As aluminum alloys, they used Cu, Mg and W materials. As a result of their experiments, they determined that aluminum and its alloys can be recycled by a direct conversion method
which is characterized by low energy-consumption and large
material savings. Gronostajski et al. [4] investigated aluminum
chip composites and used the FeCr powder as a reinforcing phase.
The reinforcement of FeCr showed very good mechanical properties at room and elevated temperatures. Chmura et al. [7] studied
the recycling of aluminum and aluminumbronze chip in the use
of bearings. Bearing composites were produced by cold compaction
and hot extrusion. Mechanical and tribological properties were
determined for end of production processes of composite bearing
samples, and it was found aluminum-based with aluminum bronze
reinforcing phase have better frictional properties.

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R. Guluzade et al. / Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352

Table 1
Chemical composition of AlMg1SiCu aluminum and AISI 1040 steel chip.

AlMg1SiCu
AISI 1040

Si (%)

Fe (%)

Cu (%)

Mn (%)

Mg (%)

Al (%)

C (%)

P (%)

S (%)

0.67
0.2

0.74
98.6

0.123

0.138
0.65

1.26

96.7

0.4

0.04

0.2

Table 2
Mechanical properties of AlMg1SiCu and AISI 1040.
Materials

Tensile strength (MPa)

Elongation (%)

Elasticity (GPa)

Fracture toughness (MPa

AlMg1SiCu
AISI 1040

310
620

1416
25 (in 50 mm)

68.9
210

29
54

Abdizadeh et al. [8] studied aluminumzircon composites by


powder metallurgy method. The cold pressed composites were sintered at two different temperatures, 600 and 650 C. Then they carried out compressive and hardness tests. The best bonding
temperature was obtained at 650 C. They reached that adding zircon particulates increased mechanical properties of composites.
Zhao et al. [9] produced AlNi composites by powder metallurgy
and examined mechanical properties such as microhardness, ultimate tensile strength and elongation. McKie et al. [10] Researched
mechanical properties of cubic boron nitride and aluminum composites which were produced by powder methodology. In this
methodology, they applied to high pressure and high temperature
sintering methods. After their experiments, they reached the
important issues that the grain sizes affected the bonding of materials. Showaiter and Yousef [11] examined the mechanical properties of 6061 Al and Pb, Ag and Sn added 6061 Al composites.
They determined the optimum sintering temperature was 620 C
and 1 h. under pure nitrogen for compaction pressures of 340
and 510 MPa. Fogagnolo et al. [12] focused on the recycling of aluminum alloy (Al2O3 recycled) and aluminum matrix (AA6061)
composite chips by cold pressing and hot pressing. They were compared and reported that the higher oxidation of composites that
was stemmed from the end of machining process of chip.
The aim of this work was to investigate the compaction, new
sintering method and mechanical properties of composites produced by AlMg1SiCu aluminum chip and reinforcement materials
of AISI 1040 steel chip attained at the end of the manufacturing
processes (milling and turning) for recycling these materials. Many
studies for aluminum chip composites are concentrated on compression, hardness and wear properties to determine the mechanical properties. However, was not focused on fracture toughness of
these composites. In this study, the fracture toughness of these
composites was investigated, and the new sintering method was
applied to the composites for prevention of oxidation on AISI
1040 steel and AlMg1SiCu aluminum chip border lines. In addition,
occurrence oxidation on border lines was observed through SEM
analyses.

2. Experimental details
2.1. Raw materials
AlMg1SiCu aluminum chip was used as the matrix and AISI
1040 steel chip were used as reinforcing phase for the composite
materials. Chemical compositions, mechanical properties and fracture toughness were given in Tables 1 and 2 respectively. At the
beginning of the study, size reduction processes by using a cutting
device and sieve shaker were applied to aluminum and steel chip
which are remaining materials from sawing process. Then, the
sizes of the chip were reduced to grain sizes between 0.5 and

p
M)

Hardness (Brinell)
95
201

Table 3
Chip fraction used for this experiment.
Specimen

Steel weight (gr)

Aluminum weight (gr)

A
B
C

21
28
35

20
30
40

49
42
35

80
70
60

1 mm. Methyl alcohol was used to clean the chip from impurities
and cutting oils were used as lubricants and coolant. The cleaned
chips were dried at a temperature of 80 C in an oven for 2 h. Aluminum chip used as matrix material was mixed with 2040 wt%
ratios of reinforcing phase by mechanical stirrer for 15 min each
(Table 3) and so three different kinds of compositions were produced according to steel weight (%) contents.

2.2. Compaction and sintering


All mixture ratios given in Table 3 for compressive and three
bending specimens were pressed at 250 MPa by using cold press
die which was produced in accordance with ASTM E9-09 and ASTM
E290-09. Zinc stearate was used on the die wall and punches for
lubrication before compaction to reduce die wall frictional effects.
A single acting hydraulic press was used for compaction. Two different types of compaction dies were used during the production of
compressive and three point bending test specimens (Fig. 1).
Sintering characteristics were investigated in a laboratory furnace in 650 C and for 2 h under pure nitrogen atmosphere [8].
All composites were heated to reach sintering temperatures at
the heating rate of 5 C/min and furnace cooled at room temperature. After sintering process, microstructures of the composite
material surfaces in Fig. 2 were investigated to detect the sintering
temperature and macro size sintering fault. For the sintering of
composites, sand and clay were used to prevent the oxidation of
aluminum chip in the sintering tube. In this method, the sand also
served to homogeneously heat the composites and prevented oxidations by absorbing metal gasses and humidity. First, cold pressed
composites placed in a sintering tube in this new sintering method.
Second, the sand lled with tubes and clay was used to close the
tube mouth. The sintering tube seen in Fig. 3 held the gases which
were released from composites.
Brinell hardness values of specimens were measured on the polished surfaces of specimens using with a ball 5 mm diameter under
a load of 250 kgf by holding 30 s [8]. For each specimen, ve hardness tests on randomly selected regions were performed in order
to eliminate the possible segregation effects and get a representative value of the matrix material hardness. The compressive and
three bending tests to determine the compressive strength and
fracture toughness were conducted in air at room temperature

R. Guluzade et al. / Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352

(a) compressive specimens

347

(b) three bending specimens

Fig. 1. Specimen production compaction dies.

Fig. 2. Microstructure photographs of the composite material surfaces after sintering process (15X).

E399-12. The fracture toughness Kc was calculated by given below


formula:

p
K 1c r af a=W

where r is the stress, a is an initial notch depth, f (a/W) is a geometry factor. In addition, to calculate the geometry factor Eq. (2)
which given in ASTM were facilitated [13]. In this study, three different (a/W) notch depth ratios were applied to composites to
determine the changing fracture in terms of different a/W notch
depths (0.085, 0.095 and 0, 1) and the average fracture toughness
were found and discussed for all steel contents,

f a=W 1:93  3:07a=W 14:53a=W2  25:11a=W3


25:80a=W4

The stress was determined from the following equation:

r 3PS=2BW 2
Fig. 3. Sintering tube for specimens.

according to ASTM E9-09 and ASTM E399-12 respectively (Figs. 4


and 5). Three specimens were tested for each steel content.
Fracture toughness (Kc) of composite specimens was determined by using the initial notch depth method in terms of ASTM

where P is critical load, S is the span, B is the specimen thickness


and W is the width of specimen.
3. Results and discussion
Increasing the weight of AISI 1040 steel chip, causes an increase
in the density of specimens. The differences of theoretical and

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R. Guluzade et al. / Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352

(a) Compressive test fixture

(b) three point bending test fixture

Fig. 4. Compressive and three point bending test xtures.

(a) 80%Al20%AISI1040

(b) 70%Al30%AISI1040

(c) 60%Al40%AISI1040
Fig. 5. Instant photographs of failure of composite specimens.

sintered density of composites are very obvious, give in Fig. 6. High


sintering temperatures provide to the easier diffusion of atoms
which helps the better sintering of composites decrease the porosities of composites. Therefore, the density of composites reaches to
a higher value [8,14].
The hardness of specimens has been tested by the Brinell measure method. The results were presented at Fig. 7. The hardness of
specimens was increased with rising steel weight (%) contents [8].
The highest hardness values were observed on the surfaces of
60%Al40%AISI1040 composites. In this study, hardness was

compared with hardness values obtained from study of Samuel


[15]. He carried out compressive tests of aluminum samples which
are prepared AlCu4 Mg aluminum chips and found that steel reinforcement substantially increases the hardness of aluminum matrix. The increasing ratio of hardness values for 20% AISI 1040
steel weight content composite are calculated as more than three
times approximately.
Compressive tests were applied to three different composites to
investigate the effect of 1040 steel weight (%) content on compressive strength of composites and obtained measurement results

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R. Guluzade et al. / Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352

Compressive Elongation, (%)

80

Fig. 6. Density of the samples before and after sintering.

70

60
15

20

25

30

35

40

45

AISI 1040 Steel Content (wt %)


Fig. 9. Compressive elongation & steel content graph of composite materials.

Fig. 7. The graph showing the relation between hardness and steel chips content.

Compressive Strength, MPa

give in Fig 8. According to test results, the increasing of steel


weight (%) contents were enhanced the strength of composites.
As it could be seen in Fig. 8, compressive strength of the specimen
with 40% of steel reinforcement is highest in 650 C sintering temperatures. This situation could be associated with the highest density of this specimen among the others. When steel chip
reinforcement increases in composites, the distance between them
decreases. Therefore movement of dislocations is harder because of
the existence of more barriers and then, dislocation pile up occurs.
This phenomena brings to an end the decreasing in elongation and
are presented in Fig. 9 [9]. When compared compressive test results of aluminum according to literature [15], the increase of steel
weight (%) content provides the positive effect on compressive
strength for reinforcement of steel. The ability of the combination
and bonding of between steel reinforcement and aluminum composites were investigated on SEMs (Figs. 1012). In addition, EDS

Fig. 10. Morphology of sintered surface of 20% AISI 1040 steel chip weight (%)
content of composite.

650

600
Fig. 11. Morphology of sintered surface of 30% AISI 1040 steel chip weight (%)
content of composite.

550

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

AISI 1040 Steel Content (wt %)


Fig. 8. Compressive strength and 1040 steel weight contents (%) graph.

analysis of composites in term of steel contents is given in


Tables 49.
According to AlFe phase diagram given in Fig. 13 [16], we can
see that Al3Fe (Fcc) can be occur about 650 C of sintering temperature [16]. When in Tables 49, are investigated in terms of Fe
weight (%) and Al weight (%), we obtain that Al weight (%) content

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R. Guluzade et al. / Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352


Table 8
EDS analysis results for region A of 40% AISI 1040 steel reinforced composites.
Element

Wt.(%)

Atomic (%)

Fe
C
Mn
Al
Total

98.16
1.13
0.34
0.37
100

93.6
5.02
0.65
0.73
100

Table 9
EDS analysis results for region B of 40% AISI 1040 steel reinforced composites.

Fig. 12. Morphology of sintered surface of 40% AISI 1040 steel chip weight (%)
content of composite.

Element

Wt.(%)

Atomic (%)

Al
Mn
Cu
Si
Mg
Fe
Total

95.27
0.53
0.32
0.78
1.27
1.64
100

95.23
0.8
0.2
0.85
1.5
1.42
100

Table 4
EDS analysis results for region A of 20% AISI 1040 steel reinforced composites.
Element

Wt.(%)

Atomic (%)

Fe
C
Mn
Al
Total

96.35
2.15
0.29
1.21
100

90.1
7.01
0.55
2.34
100

Table 5
EDS analysis results for region B of 20% AISI 1040 steel reinforced composites.
Element

Wt.(%)

Atomic (%)

Al
Mn
Cu
Si
Mg
Fe
Total

96.6
0.65
0.82
0.78
0.32
0.85
100

93.73
1.19
1.02
0.84
1.35
1.87
100

Fig. 13. AlFe phase diagram computed for the AlAl3Fe equilibrium.

20
Table 6
EDS analysis results for region A of 30% AISI 1040 steel reinforced composites.
Wt.(%)

Atomic (%)

Fe
C
Mn
Al
Total

97.81
1.45
0.32
0.42
100

92.24
6.34
0.6
0.82
100

16
14

Stress, MPa

Element

20 %
30 %
40 %

18

12
10
8
6

Table 7
EDS analysis results for region B of 30% AISI 1040 steel reinforced composites.
Element

Wt.(%)

Atomic (%)

Al
Mn
Cu
Si
Mg
Fe
Total

96.26
0.65
0.78
0.79
0.3
1.08
100

95.23
0.7
0.82
0.64
1.83
0.78
100

decreases by increasing steel weight (%) content in region A. However, Fe weight (%) in region B increases by increasing steel weight
(%) content. It can comment that a simple role exchanged between

4
2
0

0.01

0.02

0.03

Strain (%)
Fig. 14. Flextural strengths of composites according to AISI 1040 steel chip weight
(%).

Al and Fe occurs originating AlFe dispersion. In other words, Al


atoms may diffuse into the into the Fe crystal particles and may react this phase [17,18].
As the combination of Al and steel chip is investigated from
SEM, their borders exhibit continuity. We can imply that the

R. Guluzade et al. / Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352

sintering process which based on sintering time, temperature and


sintering tube application is convenient. However, some voids and
porosities were seen on some chip borders. It can be commented
that they stem from oxidation during the sintering process. While
the steel contents are increased, the composites become denser
(Fig. 6) as well as inexible so that the elongations of composites
are shorter [19].
Three-point bending tests were carried out on composite specimens to ascertain the exural strength and fracture toughness.
Fig. 9 shows the effect of various amounts of AISI 1040 steel chip
reinforcement on the exural strength of composites. It was observed that exural strength and fracture toughness values decreased as the AISI 1040 steel content increased (Fig. 14). For
example, 20% AISI 1040 steel weight content composite had a exural strength of 16.05 MPa whereas 40% AISI 1040 steel content
had a exural strength of 14.17 MPa.
The relation between fracture toughness and steel content is given in Fig. 15. The same phenomenon of exural strength was observed in the fracture toughness of composites. 20% AISI 1040
composites were exhibited the fracture toughness values and
40% steel weight content composite showed poor fracture toughness values for all notches as well as increasing notch depths.
Moreover, the increase of volume percent of steel content reduces
the fracture toughness of a metal matrix composite because it results in the formation and combining of voids within the matrix
that can cause premature fracture. This is due to the increase in
constraint on matrix deformation and consequent reduction in
ductility. In this case, porosity is the discontinuity. This leads to
failure of the composite.
According to the initial notch depths (a/W), the fracture toughness shows different values. The fracture toughness shows little
change versus the increasing notch depth [13]. Additionally, when
composite materials are investigated in terms of steel contents, the
highest fracture toughness values are seen on 20% AISI steel weight
content composites as shown in Fig. 15. In order to realize, the
damage mechanism responsible for the toughening of composites
as a result of AISI 1040 steel weight contents, the morphologies
of fracture surfaces were examined by SEM images.
SEMs of fracture surfaces of the three point exural tests
according to changing steel weight contents are shown in Figs. 16
18. Examination of fracture surface by SEM given in Fig. 16 reveals
that the ductile fracture is predominant. The increasing steel
weight content affects the ductility of fracture surface. The differences between amounts of ductility according to steel weight contents are clearly evident in the micrographs. Ductility is generally
demonstrated in the form of micro-void coalescence in the fracture
surface, whereas a brittle fracture will have more angular, at fac-

3/2

KIC (N/mm )

0.05

351

Fig. 16. Fracture surface of 20% AISI 1040 steel chip weight (%) content of
composite.

Fig. 17. Fracture surface of 30% AISI 1040 steel chip weight (%) content of
composite.

20 %
30 %
40 %

0.04

Fig. 18. Fracture surface of 30% AISI 1040 steel chip weight (%) content of
composite.

0.03

0.02
0.080

0.085

0.090

0.095

0.100

Initial Notch Depths (a/W)


Fig. 15. Fracture toughness vs. initial notch depths.

0.105

ets. The ductility of the fracture surface can be seen by decreasing


steel weight contents of composites [20,21]. The brittle fracture
surfaces were observed in 30% and 40% AISI 1040 steel chip reinforced Al composites (Figs. 17 and 18), because the fracture surface
of composites contains more angular and at facets. Fracture
surfaces of 20% AISI 1040 reinforced Al composites revealed dimple
patterns showing ductile behavior.

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R. Guluzade et al. / Materials and Design 52 (2013) 345352

4. Conclusions
On the basis of presenting the investigation of manufacturing
recycled composites from granulated AlMg1SiCu aluminum and
AISI 1040 chips it has been concluded that
 When steel chip content increased in composites, the hardness
of specimens increased to a maximum value of 121 BHN.
 High temperatures under melting point for aluminum causes a
decrease in the porosities of specimens and high temperatures
cause better bonding between aluminum and steel chip, thus
this improves the mechanical properties of composites. Therefore determined 650 C sintering temperature increased the sintered density and mechanical properties.
 Compressive strength enhanced with increasing steel chip
weight (%) contents. The maximum compressive strength is
approximately 640 MPa which contains 40 weight (%) content
steel chip.
 According to the three-point bending tests, the fracture toughness of composites changed little with increasing notch depths.
In terms of AISI 1040 steel weight (%) contents, 20% steel reinforced composites have the highest fracture toughness values.
Moreover, we know that the steel reinforcement increases the
compressive strength. However, to improve mechanical properties
and decrease the porosity of composites, the cold pressing pressure
can be increased and the different sintering temperatures can be
used to investigate the effects of sintering temperatures for density, porosity and mechanical behaviors.
Acknowledgement
The present research was conducted as part of the Scientic Research Project funded by the Selcuk University in Turkey.
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