A Tri-modal 2024 Al -B4C composites with super-high strength and ductility: Effect of coarse-grained aluminum fraction on mechanical behavior

Document Type: Research Paper


Faculty of Materials & Manufacturing Processes, Malek-e-Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.


In this study, ultrafine grained 2024 Al alloy based B4C particles reinforced composite was produced by mechanical milling and hot extrusion. Mechanical milling was used to synthesize the nanostructured Al2024 in attrition mill under argon atmosphere up to 50h. A similar process was used to produce Al2024-5%wt. B4C composite powder. To produce trimodal composites, milled powders were combined with coarse grained aluminum in 30 and 50 wt% and then were exposed to hot extrusion at 570°C. The microstructure of hot extruded samples were studied by optical microscope, Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with EDS spectroscopy. The mechanical properties of samples were compared by using tensile, compression and hardness tests. The results showed that the strength, after 50 h milling and addition of 5wt% B4C, increased from 340 to 582 MPa and the hardness increased from 87 HBN to 173 HBN, but the elongation decreased from 14 to 0.5%. By adding the coarse-grained aluminum powder, the strength and hardness decreased slightly, but the increases in return. Ductility increase is the result of increase in dislocation movements and strength increase is the result of restriction in plastic deformation by nanostructured regions. Furthermore, the strength and hardness of trimodal composites were higher, but their ductility was lower.


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