A comparative study of structural and mechanical properties of Al-Cu composites prepared by vacuum and microwave sintering techniques
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In this paper, the aluminum metal matrix composite reinforced with copper particulates (3, 6 and 9 vol.%) were fabricated by high energy ball milling, followed by vacuum sintering (VS) and microwave sintering techniques (MS) separately. The effects of Cu content and preparation methods on the microstructure and compression mechanical behavior of Al-Cu matrix composites were investigated. The microstructural characterizations revealed a homogeneous distribution of Cu particles in the Al matrix and also fine microstructures of microwave sintered samples. The microwave sintered specimen exhibited the highest hardness and better mechanical properties compared to vacuum sintered specimens. Furthermore, the hardness and compressive strength increased 137.2% and 30.3% for the microwave sintered Al-9 vol.% Cu composite, respectively. The increase in mechanical properties with the increasing volume fraction of Cu particulates can be ascribed to the presence of harder Cu particles reinforcement. The developed materials of the microwave sintered Al-Cu composite in this investigation could be successfully used for industrial applications due to improved mechanical properties. © 2017 Brazilian Metallurgical, Materials and Mining Association.
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