The focus of this work is to highlight the relative response of Al-based micro- and nanocomposites in the form of enhancement in flexural strength via induced thermal stresses at high and cryogenic temperatures in ex situ and in situ atmospheres. In this investigation, we have tried to explore the reliability, matrix-reinforcement interaction and microstructural integrity of these materials in their service period by designing appropriate heat treatment regimes. Al-Al2O3 micro- and nanocomposites had been fabricated by powder processing method. The micro- and nanocomposites were subjected to down-thermal shock (from positive to negative temperature) and up-thermal shock (from negative to positive temperature) with varying thermal gradients. For isothermal conditioning, the composites were exposed to + 80 and − 80 °C for 1 h separately. High-temperature three-point flexural tests were performed at 100 and 250 °C on the composites. All the composites subjected to thermal shock and isothermal conditioning was tested in three-point flexural mode post-treatments. Al-1 vol.% Al2O3 nanocomposite’s flexural strength improved to 118 MPa post-thermal shock treatment of gradient of 160 °C. The Al-5 and 10 vol.% Al2O3 microcomposites possessed flexural strength of 200 and 99.8 MPa after thermal shock treatment of gradient of 160 and 80 °C, respectively. The observed improvement in flexural strength of micro- and nanocomposites post-thermal excursions were compared and have been discussed with the support of fractography. The microcomposites showed a higher positive scale of response to the thermal excursions as compared to that of the nanocomposites.
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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