Fracture toughness of discontinuously reinforced Al-4Cu-1.5Mg/TiB2 composites

Research paper by N. C. Beck Tan, R. M. Aikin, R. M. Briber

Indexed on: 01 Nov '94Published on: 01 Nov '94Published in: Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A


The effect of particle size, particle volume fraction, and matrix microstructure on the fracture initiation toughness of a discontinuously reinforced aluminum composite was examined. The composites were Al-4 wt pct Cu-1.5 wt pct Mg reinforced with 0 to 15 vol pct of TiB2 having an average particle diameter of 1.3 or 0.3µm producedin situ by the XD process. The room-temperature plane-strain toughness measured using compact tension specimens ranged from 19 to 25 MPa\(\sqrt M \). Toughness was adversely affected by increases in TiB2 volume fraction. The fracture toughness of all composites was affected by changes in the matrix microstructure produced by aging. The response of the composites to artificial aging deviates from that of the matrix. Fractography revealed that these composites failed in a ductile manner, with voids initiating at the reinforcing TiB2 particles. The experimentally measured plane-strain toughness properties of Al-4Cu-l .5Mg composites with well-dispersed, 1.3-µm TiB2 reinforcements agree with the Rice and Johnson model.