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Effect of Production Process Parameters on Densification, Microstructure and Selected Properties of Spark Plasma Sintered Al4Cu-xSiC Composites

Marcin Madej, Beata Leszczyńska-Madej, Anna Wąsik, Anna Kopeć-Surzyn, Patryk Korban, Dariusz Garbiec

Quarterly No. 3, 2023 pages 173-180


keywords: AlCu-SiC composites, SPS, silicon carbide, microstructure

article version pdf (0.98MB)

abstract The paper presents the results of a study of microstructure and hardness measurements of Al4Cu-xSiC (x=5, 10, 20 and 30wt%) composites produced by SPS spark-plasma sintering. The sintering process was carried out in an HP D 25/3 plasma sintering furnace in a vacuum atmosphere, with a sintering temperature of 580 and 600 °C and a densification pressure of 50 MPa. The heating rate was 100 °C/min and the isothermal holding time at the sintering temperature was 2.5 min. As a reference material, AlCu matrix was sintered under the same conditions. As a result, composites were obtained with a near-full density of 96.5-99.5% were obtained. Microstructure studies were performed employing the techniques of light microscopy, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy, along with analysis of the chemical composition in microareas. The test results did not show remarkable differences in the microstructure of the tested composites sintered at 580 and 600C. The sinters have a fine-grained microstructure with a strengthening phase located at the grain boundaries; locally, pores are visible. Increasing the SiC content in the composites promotes the formation of agglomerates of these particles. It was proven that a higher sintering temperature has a positive effect on the hardness of the composites tested.

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