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Recycling of aluminum matrix composites

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Separation of matrix metals in composites was tried on alumina short fiber-reinforced aluminum and 6061 alloy composites and SiC whisker-reinforced 6061 alloy composite for recycling. It is possible to separate molten matrix metals from fibers in the composites using fluxes that are used for melt treatment to remove inclusions. About 50 vol pct of the matrix metals was separated from the alumina short fiber-reinforced composites. The separation ratio of the matrix from the SiC whisker-reinforced 6061 alloy composite was low and about 20 vol pct. The separation mechanism was discussed thermodynamically using interface free energies. Since the flux/fiber interface energy is smaller than the aluminum/fiber interface energy, the replacement of aluminum with fluxes in composites takes place easily. Gases released by the decomposition of fluxes act an important role in pushing out the molten matrix metal from the composite. The role was confirmed by the great amount cavity formed in the composite after the matrix metal flowed out.
  • From: Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, Volume 30, Issue 13, March 1999 (ASM-TMS-Springer)
  • Published: March 01, 1999
  • Pages: 6
  • Review Type: Peer reviewed