The paper presents results of compressive strength investigations of EN AC-44200 based aluminum alloy composite materials reinforced with aluminum oxide particles at ambient and at temperatures of 100, 200 and 250C. They were manufactured by squeeze casting of the porous preforms made of α-Al2O3 particles with liquid aluminum alloy EN AC-44200. The composite materials were reinforced with preforms characterized by the porosities of 90, 80, 70 and 60 vol. %, thus the alumina content in the composite materials was 10, 20, 30 and 40 vol.%. The results of the compressive strength of manufactured materials were presented and basing on the microscopic observations the effect of the volume content of strengthening alumina particles on the cracking mechanisms during compression at indicated temperatures were shown and discussed. The highest compressive strength of 470 MPa at ambient temperature showed composite materials strengthened with 40 vol.% of α-Al2O3 particles.
The paper presents results of bend tests at elevated temperatures of aluminium alloy EN AC-44200 (AlSi12) based composite materials reinforced with aluminium oxide particles. The examined materials were manufactured by squeeze casting. Preforms made of Al2O3 particles, with volumetric fraction 10, 20, 30 and 40 vol.% of particles joined with sodium silicate bridges were used as reinforcement. The preforms were characterised by open porosity ensuring proper infiltration with the EN AC-44200 (AlSi12) liquid alloy. The largest bending strength was found for the materials containing 40 vol.% of reinforcing ceramic particles, tested at ambient temperature. At increased test temperature, bending strength Rg of composites decreased in average by 30 to 50 MPa per 100°C of temperature increase. Temperature increase did not significantly affect cracking of the materials. Cracks propagated mainly along the interfaces particle/matrix, with no effect of the particles falling-out from fracture surfaces. Direction of cracking can be affected by a small number of agglomerations of particles or of non-reacted binder. In the composites, the particles strongly restrict plastic deformation of the alloy, which leads to creation of brittle fractures. At elevated temperatures, however mainly at 200 and 300°C, larger numbers of broken, fragmented particles was observed in the vicinity of cracks. Fragmentation of particles occurred mainly at tensioned side of the bended specimens, in the materials with smaller fraction of Al2O3 reinforcement, i.e. 10 and 20 vol.%.