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AEM Review Chawla Shen|Views: 5|Likes: 0

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01/06/2012

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Mechanical Behavior of Particle

Reinforced Metal Matrix

Composites**

By Nikhilesh Chawla,*and Yu-Lin Shen

1. Introduction

Metal matrix composites (MMCs), like most composite

materials, provide significantly enhanced properties over

conventional monolithic materials, such as higher strength,

stiffness, and weight savings.

[1±4]

While continuous fiber rein-

forcement provides the most effective strengthening (in a giv-

en direction), particle reinforced materials are more attractive

due to their cost-effectiveness, isotropic properties, and their

ability to be processed using similar technology used for

monolithic materials. A large amount of work has been con-

ducted in an effort to characterize the mechanical behavior of

particle reinforced metal matrix composites. In this review,

we attempt to capture the salient features of experimental as

well as analytical and computational characterization of the

mechanical behavior of MMCs. We restrict ourselves to

wrought particulate reinforced light alloy matrix systems,

with a particular emphasis on tensile, creep, and fatigue

behavior.

2. Strengthening Mechanisms in Metal Matrix

Composites

The strengthening mechanisms observed in MMCs may be

divided into two categories, direct and indirect strengthen-

ing. Direct strengthening in particulate reinforced metals is

an extension of the classical composite strengthening mecha-

nisms used to describe the behavior of continuous fiber rein-

forced composites.

[1,5,6]

Under an applied load, the load is

transferred from the weaker matrix, across the matrix/rein-

forcement interface, to the typically higher stiffness reinforce-

ment. In this manner, strengthening takes place by the rein-

forcement ªcarryingº much of the applied load. Due to the

lower aspect ratio of particulate materials, load transfer is not

as efficient as in the case of continuous fiber reinforcement,

but is still significant in providing strengthening.

[7±9]

ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6 357

±

[*] Prof. N. Chawla

Materials Science and Eng. Program

Department of Chemical and Materials Eng.

Arizona State University

P.O.Box 876006

Tempe, AZ 85287-6006 (USA)

E-mail: nchawla@asu.edu

Prof. Y.-L. Shen

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM 87131 (USA)

[**] NC acknowledges continued research support from The United

States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) through

the Department of Energy, and the office of Naval Research

(Dr. A. K. Vasudruan, Program Manager), under contract

# N00014-01-1-0694. YLS acknowledges the support from the

University of New Mexico Regents' Lectureship.

Metal matrix composites provide significantly en-

hanced properties Ð like higher strength, stiffness and

weight savings Ð in comparison to conventional

monolithic materials. Particle reinforced MMCs are attractive due to their cost-effectiveness, isotropic

properties, and their ability to be processed using similar technology used for monolithic materials.

This review captures the salient features of experimental as well as analytical and computational

characterization of the mechanical behavior of MMCs. The main focus is on wrought particulate rein-

forced light alloy matrix systems, with a particular emphasis on tensile, creep, and fatigue behavior.

1438-1656/01/0606-0357 $ 17.50+.50/0

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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In metal matrix composites, where a high stiffness ceramic

reinforcement is embedded in a metallic alloy, the thermal

mismatch between the high expansion metallic matrix and

the low expansion ceramic is typically quite high. Thus, upon

cooling, dislocations form at the reinforcement/matrix inter-

face due to the thermal mismatch. In this manner, thermally-

induced dislocation punching results in ªindirect strengthen-

ingº of the matrix.

[10±13]

In age-hardenable matrix materials,

the thermally-induced dislocations (formed upon quenching

from the solution treatment) serve as heterogeneous nucle-

ation sites for precipitate formation during the aging treat-

ment.

[14]

Not only is there a preferential distribution of pre-

cipitates in the particle/matrix interface region, but the

higher density of dislocations also causes an acceleration in

the time to peak-aging compared to the unreinforced alloy of

a similar composition. An increase in reinforcement volume

fraction or a decrease in particle size increases the amount of

indirect strengthening, since a larger amount of interfacial

area exists for dislocation punching to take place.

The extent of indirect strengthening is more difficult to

quantify than the contribution from direct strengthening.

Krajewski et al.

[15]

used a thermomechanical treatment, con-

sisting of solution treating, rolling, followed by aging (T8

treatment) to provide a homogeneous distribution of disloca-

tions (and subsequently precipitates) in both the matrix of the

composite and the unreinforced alloy. In this manner, the dif-

ference in strengthening between unreinforced and compos-

ite could be attributed primarily to load transfer to the rein-

forcement. Chawla et al.

[9]

compared experimental data on

T8-matrix composites with a simple modified shear lag analy-

sis proposed by Nardone and Prewo,

[7]

and obtained ex-

tremely good correlation. It was also shown that in peak-aged

materials only (without rolling), the strengthening in the

composite could be partitioned into direct and indirect

strengthening components.

3. Tensile Behavior

In metal matrix composites, the reinforcing phase typically

is much stiffer than the matrix. Thus, as described above, a

significant fraction of the stress is initially borne by the rein-

forcement. Microplasticity takes place in MMCs, at a fairly

low stress, which corresponds to a slight deviation from line-

arity in the stress-strain curve. This point is termed the pro-

portional limit stress. Microplasticity in the composites has

been attributed to stress concentrations in the matrix at the

poles of the reinforcement and/or at sharp corners of the

reinforcing particles.

[16±18]

The initial microyielding stress

decreases with increasing volume fraction, as the number of

stress concentrating points increases.

[18]

The incorporation of

particles in the matrix so results in an increase in ªapparent

work hardeningº in the material. The term ªapparentº is used

here because the higher observed work hardening rate is a

simple function of lower matrix volume (by incorporation of

the particles) and not necessarily due to a change in work

hardening mechanisms. Thus, the higher work hardening

rate observed in the composites is due to geometric con-

straints imposed by the presence of the reinforcement. When

358 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6

Nikhilesh Chawla is currently Assistant Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of Chemical

and Materials Engineering at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University

of Michigan in 1997. He was a postdoctoral fellow jointly at Ford Motor Co. and the University of

Michigan, and a senior development engineer at Hoeganaes Corp. prior to joining Arizona State Univer-

sity in 2000. Prof. Chawla's research interests include the mechanical behavior of advanced materials at

bulk and small length scales, including metal matrix composites, Pb-free solders, and powder metallurgy

materials. He has authored or co-authored close to 40 publications and is the recipient of a National

Science Foundation Early Career Development Award (2001) and The Office of Naval Research Young

Investigator Award (2001).

Yu-Lin Shen is currently Assistant Professor and Regents' Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical

Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Brown Uni-

versity in 1994. He was a post-doctoral research associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

before joining The University of New Mexico in 1996. Prof. Shen's research interest encompasses mate-

rials and mechanics, with particular attention devoted to the thermo-mechanical behavior of materials.

Currently his main effort is in the areas of materials modeling, metal matrix composites, and structural

integrity of microelectronic devices and packages. He has published more than thirty-five papers in inter-

national journals.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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the matrix is significantly work hardened, the matrix is

placed under great constraint with an inability for strain re-

laxation to take place. This causes the onset of void nucleation

and propagation, which take place at a lower far field applied

strain than that observed in the unreinforced material.

Figure 1 shows the tensile behavior of an Al-Cu-Mg

(2080)/SiC

p

-T8

[121]

composite with varying volume fraction

(at a constant particle size of 5 lm) and varying particle size

(at a constant volume fraction of 20 %). The microstructure

was maintained relatively constant by introducing a T8 treat-

ment to all composites. With an increase in volume fraction,

higher elastic modulus, macroscopic yield and tensile

strengths were observed, coupled with lower ductility

(Fig. 1a). With increasing volume fraction, more load is trans-

ferred to the reinforcement which also results in a higher ulti-

mate tensile strength. The work hardening rate increases with

increasing volume fraction of reinforcement (and decreasing

matrix volume). The lower ductility can be attributed to the

earlier onset of void nucleation with increasing amount of

reinforcement. It should be noted that cracked particles in the

composite, which may result from processing of composites

with fairly coarse particulate reinforcement, do not contribute

to load transfer or strengthening and would decrease

strength. The high stress concentration at the tips of the

cracked particles would also contribute to a lower ductility in

the composite, compared to the unreinforced alloy.

The effect of particle size on tensile behavior, documented

by several investigators,

[19±21]

indicates an increase in ductility

with a decrease in particle size (Fig. 1b). This may be attribut-

ed to an increase in the SiC particle strength with a decrease

in particle size, because the probability of a strength-limiting

flaw existing in the volume of the material decreases. At rela-

tively large particle sizes of this material, e.g., above 20 lm, a

significant amount of particle cracking takes place during

extrusion prior to testing. Cracked particles do not carry any

load effectively and can be effectively thought of as voids, so

the strength is lower than that of the unreinforced material. It

has also been proposed, however, that because of the higher

plastic constraint imposed by the lower interparticle spacing,

that the nucleated voids are unable to coalesce as easily.

[20]

A

higher work hardening rate has also been observed with

decreasing particle size.

[21,22]

This is attributed to the forma-

tion of dislocation tangles around the particles, due to plastic

incompatibility between the reinforcement

and matrix, and the formation of a disloca-

tion cell structure with a cell size inversely

proportional to the interparticle spacing.

[23]

The tensile fracture surface of a particulate

reinforced composite shows quite a contrast

between the dimpled nature of fracture in

the matrix coupled with brittle fracture of

the SiC particles (Fig. 2).

[24]

Notice that the

particle/matrix interface remains intact, in-

dicating that the shear strength at the inter-

face was higher than the particle fracture

strength.

4. Creep Behavior

In general, the addition of a high stiffness reinforcement

greatly increases the creep resistance over the unreinforced

alloy.

[25,26]

Nieh

[26]

studied the creep behavior of 6061/SiC/

20

p

and 6061/SiC/20

w

, and compared it to the unreinforced

6061 alloy (Fig. 3). A much higher creep resistance was

obtained in the composite with an accompanying higher sen-

sitivity to applied stress (much higher stress exponent n). An

enhanced creep resistance was also obtained with the higher

aspect ratio whiskers than with particles, presumably due to

ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6 359

Fig. 1. Tensile behavior of an Al-Cu-Mg (2080)/SiC

p

-T8 composite with: a) varying

volume fraction (at a constant particle size of 5 lm) and b) varying particle size (at a

constant volume fraction of 20 %).

Fig. 2. Tensile fracture surface of a particulate reinforced composite showing dimpled fracture in the matrix

coupled with brittle fracture of the SiC particles.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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more effective load transfer from the matrix to the high stiff-

ness reinforcement. Webster

[27]

also characterized the creep

behavior of the matrix alloy and its whisker reinforced com-

posite with increasing temperature. It was observed that at

intermediate temperatures (500±720 K) the strength is con-

trolled by the whiskers, as the load is transferred to the high

modulus and aspect ratio reinforcement. The strength be-

comes matrix-controlled at very high temperatures (720±

900 K), perhaps due to increasingly lower interfacial shear

strength and lower efficiency in load transfer to the whisker

reinforcement.

Anomalously high values of the activation energy, Q, and

stress exponent, n, have been reported in MMCs.

[25,26,28±30]

Nardone and Strife

[28]

rationalized this by proposing the con-

cept of a threshold stress r

r

, for creep deformation, originally

used to explain the high values for Q and n in dispersion-

strengthened alloys.

[31±33]

By introducing the threshold stress,

the general steady-state creep rate is modified to:

e

ss

A

rÀr

r

E

_ _

n

exp

ÀQ

RT

_ _

(1)

where A is a constant, E is the elastic modulus of the compo-

site, and Q is the activation energy. The latter two variables

are corrected for temperature dependence. The physical

explanation for the threshold stress in the discontinuously

reinforced composite system can be attributed to a variety of

reasons:

[29]

(1) Orowan bowing between particles, (2) back-

stress associated with dislocation climb, (3) attractive force

between dislocations and particles, resulting from relaxation

of the strain field of dislocations at the particle/matrix inter-

face.

[34]

Due to the higher apparent work hardening rate, i.e.,

lower volume of matrix material, the enhancement of disloca-

tion/dislocation interactions can contribute to r

R

, although

this mechanism is more plausible at ambient temperature.

Load transfer to the reinforcement, despite the lower

aspect ratios of particles and whiskers, is significant, as the

applied load is carried by the high stiffness reinforcement.

With increasing load transfer to the reinforcement, the

resolved shear stress on dislocations in the matrix may be

lowered significantly below that required for Orowan bow-

ing. It has also been observed that below a critical strain rate

diffusional relaxation around the SiC particles is the rate-con-

trolling mechanism, while above this point, a greater degree

of load is carried by the high stiffness particles.

[35]

In addition

to the threshold stress, additional proposed mechanisms for

the anomalously high values of Q and n include power law

break-down of the matrix

[36,37]

and interfacial decohesion at

the particle/matrix interface.

[38]

The reinforcement may con-

tribute to changes in the matrix during creep by localized

recrystallization at corners or interfaces and precipitate coars-

ening at the particle/matrix interface, where the density of

precipitates is the highest (because of the dislocation defects

being higher at the interface).

It has been shown that in powder processed composite

materials, oxide dispersions (not present in the unreinforced

alloy) may also contribute to extremely high ªanomalousº

values of n and Q.

[39,40]

Park et al.

[39]

suggested that the pres-

ence of fine oxide particles, incoherent with the matrix, aris-

ing from the powder metallurgy process used to fabricate the

composite, served as effective barriers for dislocation motion

and gave rise to a threshold creep stress. The high creep stress

exponent and increase in exponent with decreasing applied

stress were attributed to the oxide particles in the matrix. Li

and Langdon

[40]

support this conclusion, and add that in in-

got metallurgy composites, compared with powder metal-

lurgy-processed composites of the same composition, viscous

glide is the rate-controlling mechanism because of the

absence of oxide particles.

Li and Langdon

[41]

also proposed two separate classes of

creep behavior in metal matrix composites. In class M (pure

metal type) materials dislocation climb is the rate-controlling

mechanism, with a stress exponent of around 5 and an activa-

tion energy similar to the value for self-diffusion in the

matrix. In class A (alloy type) metals, viscous dislocation

glide is the rate-controlling mechanism, with a stress expo-

nent of around 3 and an activation energy associated with the

viscous drag of the solute atmospheres. Exceptionally high

creep rates were observed at the highest stress levels, perhaps

due to dislocations breaking away from solute atom atmo-

spheres.

[41]

It should be noted that in unreinforced solid solu-

tion alloys a transition exists between class M behavior at low

stresses to class A behavior at higher stresses.

[42]

5. Fatigue Behavior

Much of the driving force for development of MMCs has

been that monolithic lightweight alloys have inadequate fati-

gue resistance for many demanding applications. The use of a

high stiffness ceramic reinforcement in particulate form, such

as SiC, can result in a substantial increase in fatigue resistance

while maintaining cost at an acceptable level. This is an impor-

360 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6

Fig. 3. Creep behavior of particle and whisker reinforced composites.

[26]

Notice the high-

er creep resistance of the whisker reinforced material, due to more effective load transfer

to the reinforcement.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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tant design criterion in many applications, e.g. in automotive

components. The fatigue resistance of particulate MMCs

depends on a variety of factors, including reinforcement parti-

cle volume fraction, particle size, matrix microstructure, the

presence of inclusions or defects that arise from processing,

and testing environment.

[43±45]

The effect of these factors on the

fatigue behavior of particle reinforced MMCs is summarized

in this section. Here we concentrate on stress versus cycles

(S-N) fatigue behavior. A Paris Law approach, i.e., measuring

fatigue crack growth versus stress intensity at the crack tip,

has also been used extensively by several investigators.

[46±49]

Several studies have shown that increasing volume frac-

tion and decreasing particle size both result in enhanced fati-

gue resistance.

[19,50]

In the composite, most of the load is car-

ried by the high modulus, high strength reinforcement, so for

a given stress, the composite undergoes a lower average strain

than the unreinforced alloy. Thus, the fatigue lives of particle

reinforced metal matrix composites are generally longer than

those of unreinforced metals (Fig. 4). These improvements are

most pronounced at lower stresses, in the high cycle fatigue

regime, while at high stress the differences between rein-

forced and unreinforced materials are reduced. This can be

attributed to "ductility exhaustion" of the composites in the

low cycle fatigue regime. With decreasing particle size, for a

given reinforcement volume fraction, the reinforcement inter-

particle spacing decreases, resulting in more barriers for the

reversible slip motion that takes place during fatigue, and a

decrease in strain localization by cyclic slip refinement. Above

a critical particle size, reinforcement fracture is predominant

and contributes to premature fatigue life, because of the

increased propensity for particle cracking as the particle size

increases.

[19]

Narrowing of the particle size range distribution

also results in higher fatigue life, particularly when eliminat-

ing larger particles that are more prone to cracking.

[51]

In addition to particle reinforcement, the matrix micro-

structure also significantly influences the fatigue behavior of

the composite. Factors affecting the matrix microstructure

include size, shape, and spacing of precipitates, grain size,

and non-reinforcement dispersoids or inclusions (such as

Fe-rich inclusions that are formed during processing). The ef-

fect of grain size has not been explicitly examined, but com-

posites follow the same trend as monolithic materials, i.e., for

a given matrix alloy composition and volume fraction of rein-

forcement, finer grain sizes generally result in improved

properties.

Contrary to conventional wisdom for monolithic materials,

in MMCs high matrix yield and ultimate tensile strength do

not necessarily reflect high fatigue strength (defined here as

fatigue runout at 10

7

cycles). Vyletel et al.

[52]

showed that

there was no significant difference in fatigue behavior

between naturally aged and artificially aged MMC, even

though the naturally aged material had a much lower yield

and ultimate strength. Chawla et al.

[9]

compared two materi-

als with constant reinforcement volume fraction and particle

size, but very different microstructures. A thermomechanical

treatment (T8) of the Al-Cu-Mg alloy produced a fine and

homogeneous distribution of S' precipitates, while a thermal

treatment only (T6) resulted in coarser and inhomogeneously

distributed S' precipitates. Because of finer and more closely

spaced precipitates, the composite that underwent a T8 treat-

ment exhibited higher yield strengths than the T6 materials.

Despite its lower yield strength, however, the T6 matrix com-

posites exhibited higher fatigue resistance than the T8 matrix

composites. This contrasting behavior between monotonic

and cyclic loading can be attributed to the strong influence of

the presence, stability, and morphology of the S' precipitates

in the matrix of the composite.

[53±55]

In fatigue, failure pro-

cesses are affected by a variety of microstructural factors,

which include resistance to dislocation motion and pileup at

precipitates and/or reinforcement particles and cracking

along slip bands. Throughout the fatigue process, disloca-

tions either cut precipitates or loop around them during cyc-

lic deformation, depending on precipitate coherency and

size.

[53,54]

In the T8 materials, the precipitates are fine enough

that it is believed that the precipitates are cut by dislocations

and localized slip takes place, which reduces the strengthen-

ing effect of precipitates, thereby impairing the fatigue

strength. In the T6 materials, the larger precipitate size allows

them to retain their precipitates structure and strength during

fatigue.

Overaging heat treatments also modify the matrix micro-

structure, resulting in coarsening of the precipitate structure,

while retaining a homogeneous precipitate distribution,

which directly influences fatigue life.

[9]

Figure 5a shows the

coarsening and increase in precipitate spacing in the matrix

of MMCs overaged at various temperatures for 24 hours.

Increasing precipitate spacing decreases both fatigue strength

and fatigue lifetime (Fig. 5b). This is to be expected since

coarser precipitates result in a larger interprecipitate spacing

and easier bypass of dislocations. For the composites sub-

jected to higher overaging temperatures, the yield strength

ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6 361

Fig. 4. Effect of reinforcement volume fraction (5 lm SiC particle size,) on fatigue life

of a 2080/SiC

p

composite. Increasing volume fraction of the reinforcement results in

enhanced fatigue resistance.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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and fatigue strength also decrease with increasing precipitate

spacing. It should be mentioned that precipitate size alone

should not be taken as the determining factor for fatigue

resistance. Rather, the precipitates should be of sufficient size

to not be susceptible to precipitate shearing, but semi- or

completely coherent with the matrix to impose repulsive

stress fields against dislocation motion.

Processing-related defects in the form of intermetallic

inclusions or particle clusters are also part of the matrix mi-

crostructure, and play a role in fatigue strength, particularly

in powder metallurgy processed materials.

[19,56]

These defects

act as stress concentrators that increase the local stress inten-

sity in the material and promote easy crack nucleation. It has

been shown that crack initiation during fatigue takes place at

these defects, which are typically located at the surface of the

specimen.

[57]

This is because inclusions at the surface are

more highly stressed than inclusions completely within the

matrix (where more load is borne by the reinforcement), so a

higher stress concentration and, thus, higher probability for

crack initiation is present at the surface. For a given inclusion

size, the stress concentration in a composite where the inclu-

sion is surrounded by high stiffness reinforcement particles,

is lower than in the unreinforced alloy. Since more of the load

is being ªsharedº by the high stiffness SiC particles in the

composite, an inclusion in the composite will be subjected to

lower stress than a similar inclusion

in the unreinforced alloy. In extruded

materials, the overall size of inclu-

sions is also lower in composites

since the ceramic reinforcement parti-

cles break the brittle inclusions into

smaller sizes during extrusion.

It is interesting to note that in the

low cycle regime, cracks seem to ori-

ginate relatively early in fatigue life

(around 10 % of total life).

[19,58]

In the

high cycle regime, on the other hand,

crack initiation can occur quite late

(after about 70±90 % of the life of the

specimen). While crack growth is

relatively unimpeded in unreinforced

materials (Fig. 6a), crack growth is

hindered by mechanisms such as

crack deflection and crack trapping in

the composite (Fig. 6b).

[59]

Several MMC applications will

require fatigue resistance at elevated

temperatures (on the order of 150±

175 C). Figure 7 shows the elevated

temperature fatigue performance of

MMCs in comparison with the room

temperature data shown in Fig-

ure 4.

[60]

The most significant debit in

fatigue strength occurred between 25

and 150 C. The incremental increase

in temperature to 170 C resulted in a

modest decrease in fatigue strength. In applications where

elevated temperature fatigue resistance is a criterion, the tem-

perature at which the composite is aged becomes very impor-

362 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6

Fig. 5. Effect of overaging on: a) Microstructure. Precipitate coarsening and increase in precipitate spacing in MMCs is

observed; and b) Fatigue life. Increasing precipitate spacing decreases both fatigue strength and fatigue lifetime (precipi-

tate spacings are given in parentheses).

Fig. 6. Fatigue crack initiation and growth in a) unreinforced 2080 Al and b) in 2080/

SiC

p

composite. Notice that crack growth is hindered by mechanisms such as crack

deflection and crack trapping in the composite.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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tant. At slightly higher temperatures than the aging tempera-

ture, a severe decrease in fatigue strength may take place be-

cause of significant matrix overaging. The fatigue strength in

the composites seems to be directly proportional to the

strength of the matrix, although the decrease in fatigue

strength due to temperature is significantly higher than the

decrease in yield strength. This may be caused by changes in

matrix microstructure and decrease in matrix strength from a

combination of long-term exposure and cyclic stress at ele-

vated temperatures.

6. Modeling of Mechanical Behavior

Analytical and numerical modeling of MMCs provide an

effective means of (a) predicting effective properties of the

composite (e.g., Young's modulus) from the known proper-

ties of its constituents and (b) revealing deformation and

damage characteristics. In particle reinforced metal matrix

composites, numerical modeling is often more effective than

analytical modeling since the composites lack the structural

simplicity of continuous fiber composites or laminates and

hence are not readily amenable to closed-form theoretical

analyses. In the following sections, we discuss the prediction

of effective properties, deformation characteristics, and dam-

age related issues.

7. Prediction of Effective Properties

The mechanical properties of a particle reinforced MMCs

are dependent on factors such as reinforcement volume frac-

tion, shape, contiguity, and spatial distribution within the

matrix. Although it is a very complex problem, various meth-

ods have been proposed to estimate the overall elastoplastic

response as well as the bounds for effective elastic moduli of

the composite. Comprehensive reviews of the literature can

be found in references.

[61±67]

Here we briefly discuss selected

analytical models that predict the effective modulus of the

composite.

Hashin and Shtrikman

[68]

proposed upper and lower

bounds for an isotropic aggregate based on variational princi-

ples of linear elasticity:

K

upper

K

R

1 À f

1

K

M

ÀK

R

3f

3K

R

4l

R

_ _

À1

(2)

K

lower

K

M

f

1

K

R

ÀK

M

3
1Àf

3K

M

4l

M

_ _

À1

(3)

l

upper

l

R

1 À f

1

l

M

Àl

R

6f
K

R

2l

R

5l

R

3K

R

4l

R

_ _

À1

(4)

l

lower

l

M

f

1

l

R

Àl

M

6
1Àf
K

M

2l

M

5l

M

3K

M

4l

M

_ _

À1

(5)

where K and l are the bulk and shear moduli, respectively,

and f is the volume fraction of reinforcing particles. The

superscripts ªupper,º ªlower,º ªM,º and ªRº refer to the

upper and lower bound estimates, and matrix and reinforce-

ment, respectively. Given the moduli of the matrix and

reinforcement, the overall bounds of Young's modulus are

then obtained by Equations 2±5 and the following relation

between E, K, and l:

E

9K

13Kal

(6)

Eshelby

[69]

treated the three-dimensional elasticity problem

of a single ellipsoidal inclusion in an infinite matrix. This

approach has been employed quite extensively in modified

forms in the analyses of discontinuously reinforced compos-

ite materials.

[70±76]

Mura

[70]

provided estimates for finite con-

centrations of reinforcements. Taking the reinforcement

geometry to be spherical, the Mura expressions for the effec-

tive moduli are

l l

M

1 f
l

M

À l

R

_

l

M

2
l

R

À l

M

4À5m

M

15
1Àm

M

_ _ _ _

À1

(7)

K K

M

1 f
K

M

À K

R

_

K

M

1

3

K

R

À K

M

1m

M

1Àm

M

_ _ _ _

À1

(8)

where m is the Poisson's ratio. The composite Young's modu-

lus is then obtained from Equation 6. The results based on

this approach are only valid for relatively small volume frac-

tions (smaller than about 0.25) of reinforcing particles.

The effective Young's modulus of composites with spheri-

cal reinforcements, with a large volume fraction (greater than

0.5), can be predicted by a self-consistent method proposed

by Kroner

[71]

and Budiansky.

[72]

This method is also based on

Eshelby's equivalent inclusion model, but assumes that the

moduli of the infinite medium are equal to the overall moduli

of the composite. For spherical inclusions, Budiansky's self-

consistent relation is given by

[72]

ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6 363

Fig. 7. Elevated temperature fatigue performance of an MMC in comparison with the

room temperature data shown in Figure 4.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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l l

M

f l
l

R

Àl

M

l2
l

R

Àl
4À5m 15
1Àm f g

À1

(9)

K K

M

fK
K

R

ÀK

M

K

1

3

K

R

ÀK
1m 1Àm f g

À1

(10)

Solutions are obtained by setting

m

3KÀ2l

2
l3K

(11)

and solving Equatations 9 and 10 simultaneously. Once

again, the composite Young's modulus is then obtained by

Equatation 6.

As an alternative to analytical modeling, numerical tech-

niques such as finite element analysis have become increas-

ingly more popular, where the geometry of the components,

thermomechanical history of the composite, are incorporated

into the simulation of the mechanical properties. One com-

mon approach is to use a unit-cell model, where one or more

reinforcement particles are embedded within the Al matrix,

to simulate a composite material with a periodic array of rein-

forcement. Examples of unit-cell models are shown in Fig-

ure 8, in which the left vertical boundary represents the axi-

ally symmetric axis and mirror symmetry exists about the

bottom boundary. A periodic arrangement of particles with

the shape of a ªunit cylinderº, ªtruncated cylinderº, ªdouble-

coneº and ªsphereº (Figs. 8a, b, c and d, respectively) may be

simulated using the appropriate boundary conditions.

[77]

It

should be noted that in actual composites the particles com-

monly contain sharp corners, so spherical particles are not

necessarily a realistic choice for simulation. Object oriented

finite element techniques have been employed that are able to

incorporate the ªtrueº composite microstructures, that take

into consideration particle morphology and clustering of par-

ticles, as a basis for analysis using finite element tech-

niques.

[78]

Numerical predictions of the effective Young's modulus

for an Al/SiC

p

composite are shown in Figure 9, where the

composite Young's modulus (normalized by the Young's

modulus of the matrix) for unit cylinder and spherical rein-

forcement are plotted as a function of reinforcement volume

concentration and compared with analytical predictions. The

unit cylinder particle has a greater stiffening effect than the

spherical particle. Clearly, load transfer by a shear-lag type of

mechanism is more effective across a planar interface than a

spherical interface. Both numerical curves fall within the

Hashin-Shtrikman bounds described by Equatations 2±5.

Mura's model, Equatations 7 and 8, matches the numerical

prediction for spherical particles well when the reinforcement

fraction is small, but a significant deviation occurs at larger

reinforcement fractions, as discussed above. The predictions

of the self-consistent method by Budiansky, Equatations 9

and 10, match the numerical predictions for spherical parti-

cles very closely for a reinforcement fraction less than about

0.35. Above this volume fraction, this method predicts a stif-

fer response with the spherical reinforcement than the finite

element method. The numerical predictions show fairly good

agreement with experimental results on the effective elastic

moduli obtained for a Al-3.5Cu alloy reinforced with 0, 6, 13

and 20 vol. % SiC particles,

[79]

which are also shown in Fig-

ure 9. Although the SiC particles in actual materials contain

sharp corners, the experimental values are slightly lower than

the numerical predictions for unit cylinders. This may be

attributed to some degree of particle fracture during thermo-

mechanical processing, development of residual stresses, and

particle clustering in the composite.

[80]

The results shown in

364 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6

Fig. 8. Types of unit cells used for simulating different reinforcement shapes in a com-

posite: a) unit cylinder, b) truncated cylinder, c) double-cone and d) sphere. The left

boundaries represent the axially symmetric axes.

Fig. 9. Comparisons of the variation of effective Young's modulus (normalized by

Young's modulus of the unreinforced matrix) as a function of reinforcement volume

fraction among the numerical and analytical results. (Matrix: Al-3.5 Cu alloy; reinfor-

cement: SiC particles.) Experimental points are shown as squares.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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Figure 9 clearly indicate that a simple rule-of-mixtures

approach is not valid in estimating the effective modulus of

particle reinforced MMCs. The rule-of-mixtures approach is

based on the condition of isostrain between matrix and rein-

forcement, and hence is valid only for continuous fiber rein-

forcement with high aspect ratios.

Similar numerical approaches to that described above can

be used to model the overall inelastic response of the

composite. Characterizing the matrix as an isotropically

hardening elastic-plastic solid (following the experimental

stress-strain curve of a peak-aged Al-3.5Cu alloy) and the SiC

particles as an elastic solid, the calculated tensile stress-strain

response of Al/SiC/20

p

composites, having the four particle

shapes described above, are shown in Figure 10. Clearly, par-

ticle shape has a significant influence on the overall tensile

behavior of the composite. The unit-cylinder particles clearly

strengthen the composite more than the other three shapes

under a constant reinforcement fraction. This, however, does

not imply that particles with sharp corners have a more pro-

nounced strengthening effect, as shown by the case of ªdou-

ble-coneº particles, possessing the ªsharpestº type of corners.

A detailed analysis

[80]

showed that the unit-cylinder and dou-

ble-cone particles result in, respectively, the highest and low-

est degrees of disturbance of the local plastic flow paths in

the matrix. This directly reflects the different extents of con-

strained plastic flow and hence the strengthening behavior in

the composite. Other simple unit-cell approaches focusing on

various aspects of elastoplastic behavior of composites have

been reported.

[8,77-90]

In general, when the particle fraction is

small, less than 0.2 for instance, the simple unit-cell approach

presented above shows reasonably accurate results for the

elastic response. At higher particle fractions the composite

behavior will be dominated by the boundary conditions im-

posed on the unit cell, so care must be taken in interpreting

the modeling result. The readers are referred to these ref-

erences for detailed analyses, especially for the inelastic

behavior. In some studies randomly distributed particles

were also included in the computational model.

[91±93]

8. Deformation Behavior

In this section we focus on three aspects of composite

deformation: thermal stress, creep behavior, and cyclic stress-

strain response.

8.1. Thermal Stress

The thermal expansion mismatch between the reinforce-

ment and the matrix results in thermal stresses within the

composite upon cooling from the processing temperature to

ambient temperature. As mentioned above, in actual compos-

ites thermal residual stresses are relieved by plastic deforma-

tion in the matrix, resulting in indirect strengthening.

[13]

Fig-

ure 11 shows the calculated tensile stress-strain curves for

20 % SiC reinforced Al alloy utilizing the unit-cylinder parti-

cles (Fig. 8a), with and without the presence of thermal resid-

ual stress. As before, the matrix was taken to be an isotropi-

cally hardening elastic-plastic material in the model. The

thermal residual stresses were calculated for a composite

cooled from the solutionizing temperature of 500 C, where

the composite is in a relatively stress-free state, to room tem-

perature, 20 C. Also included in the figure is the stress-strain

response used for the pure matrix. During cooling the matrix

at the particle/matrix interface undergoes yielding.

[77]

This

has direct bearing on subsequent loading of the material. It

can be seen in Figure 11 that in the presence of thermal stress-

es a lower slope is observed at the early stage of deformation,

due to the slightly lower apparent Young's modulus arising

from prior plastic deformation. When compared with the

material free of residual stresses, higher values of the average

axial stress were observed. This means that the existence of

residual stresses enhances the initial strain hardening rate in

the material. Comparing the curves for the pure matrix and

for the composite without thermal residual stresses, direct

strengthening effects are observed. The higher flow stress for

the composite is a direct consequence of load transfer from

the matrix to the reinforcement, which is also related to the

ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6 365

Fig. 10. Predicted tensile stress-strain curves for the Al/SiC/20

p

composite with the var-

ious reinforcement shapes. The stress values are normalized by the matrix yield strength.

Fig. 11. Predicted tensile stress-strain curves of the Al/SiC/20

p

composite, with and

without the presence of thermal residual stresses. The predicted behavior of the Al matrix

is also included and the stress values are normalized by the matrix yield strength.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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constrained plastic flow within the matrix.

[80]

A comparison

of the two composite curves reveals the indirect strengthen-

ing effect. In the model strain hardening caused by cool

down-induced plasticity leads to subsequent higher strength

for the composite with thermal stresses incorporated (after

the crossover point). In actual materials thermal mismatch-in-

duced dislocation punching

[13]

renders a higher matrix

strength due to strain hardening. Thus, when appropriate

constitutive models are chosen (e.g., hardening plasticity

rather than perfect plasticity in the present case), continuum-

based numerical modeling can provide insights into the

deformation mechanisms. Direct comparisons of numerical

modeling and experimental measurements of residual

stresses in aluminum matrix composites have also been

reported.

[95]

The ability to predict the coefficient of thermal expansion

(CTE) of the composite is also quite important, particularly in

applications where dimensional stability and the capability of

matching the thermal expansion of other materials under

thermal loading conditions is critical. The effective CTE of

particle reinforced metal matrix composites, based on the

known CTE values and elastic-plastic properties of the con-

stituents, have been predicted. Shen et al.

[94]

illustrated that

the composite CTE is much less sensitive to variations in par-

ticle geometry than in the cases of elastic and plastic

response. The effects of local plasticity and microvoids on the

composite CTE have also been addressed along with experi-

mental measurements.

[96±98]

8.2. Creep Behavior

A continuum-based unit-cell approach has also been

used to model creep of metal matrix composites. Assuming

a spherical particle and the power-law creep formulation

for the metal matrix, Davis and Allison

[99]

showed that the

ratio of composite to matrix steady-state creep rates de-

pends primarily on the volume fraction and geometry of

the reinforcing phase, with the stress exponent of the com-

posite and that of the matrix remaining relatively constant.

A similar result was obtained for the case of rigid reinfor-

cing particles.

[83]

Dragon and Nix

[100]

carried out similar

analysis and obtained similar results for composites with

aligned short fibers. The higher resistance to creep for the

composite is largely attributed to the constrained matrix

flow, leading to a reduced composite creep rate. More

sophisticated aspects of creep deformation, such as inter-

facial slip, diffusion, and grain boundary sliding have also

been included in some models (e.g., references

[101,102]

). Since

microstructural evolution cannot be easily accounted for in

most finite element models, the anomalous behavior of

stress exponent and activation energy described in previous

sections cannot be easily studied numerically. By consider-

ing randomly oriented short fibers in the metal matrix,

Dragon and Nix

[103]

were able to predict the observed high

values of stress exponent and activation energy found in

their materials. This treatment, however, applies only to

certain classes of discontinuously reinforced MMCs.

8.3. Cyclic Stress-Strain Behavior

Characterizing the cyclic stress-strain behavior is one of

the crucial steps toward understanding fatigue performance.

In short-fiber reinforced composites,

[104]

even when the

matrix is assumed to exhibit isotropic hardening behavior

(i.e., no Bauschinger effect exists), the composite shows a dis-

tinct Bauschinger effect upon reversed loading, as was

observed experimentally.

[105]

This was confirmed for particle

reinforced composites,

[80]

where it was demonstrated,

through the examination of the evolution of local stress field,

that the apparent early reversed yielding for the composite

arises from the non-uniformity of deformation in matrix

caused by the constraint imposed by the brittle reinforce-

ment. Thus, high local effective stresses trigger early local

yielding after the load is reversed, which is reflected in the

macroscopic stress-strain behavior.

The above microplasticity effect in the composite is the

same mechanism that causes the experimentally observed

early deviation from linearity of the tensile stress-strain curve

for metal matrix composites compared to the monolithic ma-

trix material observed experimentally.

[17]

This means that the

proportional limit for the composite is actually lower than that

of monolithic matrix material, although the composite shows

a much higher macroscopic yield strength. Under cyclic load-

ing, the lower proportional limit of the composite implies

that, in a stress-controlled cyclic test with the stress range

well within the elastic limit of the unreinforced material, the

composite can actually develop a cyclic plasticity. This has

been shown experimentally for the 2080/SiC

p

-T8 compos-

ite.

[18]

In order to adequately model the stabilized cyclic re-

sponse without encountering elastic shake-down, in the mod-

eling presented below kinematic hardening was assumed for

the matrix with its elastic-plastic behavior taken from the

experimental stress-strain behavior of the unreinforced Al

alloy. Although the unit-cell model shown in Figure 8d was

followed, a staggered distribution of particles was used to

model the random orientation of particles.

[106,107]

Figure 12 shows the stabilized stress-strain response pre-

dicted by the staggered sphere model. The stress amplitude

imposed is 350 MPa, which is well below the elastic limit of

489 MPa for the unreinforced alloy. Also included in the fig-

ure are the experimentally obtained stress-strain hysteresis

loop. The predicted hysteresis loop is in extremely good

agreement with the experiment. An examination of the defor-

mation pattern in the computational domain reveals that

localized plastic deformation occurs in the matrix even when

the overall applied stress is well within the elastic range for

the unreinforced matrix. Specifically, cyclic plasticity arises

from plasticity at the poles of the reinforcement along the

loading direction and adjacent to the reinforcement where the

interface is roughly at 45 to the loading axis (maximum

shear).

366 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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It should be noted that our treatment of microplasticity

or the Bauschinger effect in general is limited to the conti-

nuum assumption. If large deformation is involved in ex-

periments, possible microstructural changes can then influ-

ence the cyclic response of the composite. For this

discussion the reader is referred to Pragnell et al.

[108]

9. Damage Modeling

Modeling of damage in MMCs must take into considera-

tion fracture of the ceramic reinforcement, void nucleation,

growth and coalescence of voids within the metallic matrix,

and/or decohesion and crack growth along the particle/ma-

trix interface. Of these mechanisms fracture of the reinforce-

ment particles is very important. In the remainder of this sec-

tion, attention is devoted to the fracture of reinforcing

particles in the composite.

Clearly, the other failure mechanisms are also important,

although only a limited number of numerical studies have

modeled matrix failure and interfacial effects.

[79,82,109,110]

Without invoking a damage model that can predict parti-

cle fracture during loading, the unit-cell models in Figure 8

can be employed to directly study the effects of particle crack-

ing on composite properties. Here we consider the unit cylin-

der particle, with an existing crack, lying normal to the axis of

the cylinder, cutting through the middle section of the SiC

particle (i.e., spanning along the bottom side from the lower-

left corner over a distance of r

0

in the models shown in Fig-

ure 8). The Al matrix and the interface are assumed to remain

free of damage, although the changes in matrix fields due to

the presence of the crack in the reinforcement are accounted

for by the analysis. Thus the model represents an upper

bound for particle damage (or lower bound for effective com-

posite strength) wherein all the reinforcing particles in the

composite are cracked.

Figure 13 shows the finite element predictions (denoted

as ªFEM: cracked particlesº) of the overall Young's modu-

lus (in the axial direction) of the composite as a function of

the different fractions of cracked SiC particles. Also plotted

for comparison purposes are the finite element predictions

for the case where the particles remain intact (denoted as

ªFEM: perfect particlesº) and the case where the unrein-

forced matrix contains the same fraction of aligned, penny-

shaped cracks as the fraction of the reinforcing particles

(denoted as ªFEM: penny-shaped cracks in matrixº). The

former prediction for perfect particles represents the upper

bound for maximum effective Young's modulus which can

also be obtained from the simple treatment of elastic parti-

cles in an elastic matrix. The latter FEM predictions for the

matrix cracking are in excellent agreement with the analyti-

cal prediction

[111]

of the decrease in Young's modulus (in

the direction normal to the crack plane) with increasing

volume fraction of aligned penny-shaped cracks in the ma-

trix alloy (denoted as ªanalytical,º penny-shaped cracks in

matrix). This analytical prediction represents the lower

bound estimate for Young's modulus because it assumes

that the cracked particles do not contribute to strengthening

and may be considered as voids in the matrix of the com-

posite.

The discrete points in Figure 13 show the experimentally

measured elastic moduli for different fractions of fractured

particles for the peakaged Al-3.5Cu matrix reinforced with

20 vol. % SiC particles.

[77,112]

As expected, the experimental

results fall within the bounds corresponding to the FEM

predictions of particles for that volume fraction which are

either fully intact or all fractured. The results of Figure 13

reveal that the overall elastic moduli of the Al/SiC

p

com-

posites, where all the SiC particles are fractured, are higher

than those of the unreinforced matrix with a concentration

of penny-shaped flaws equal to the concentration of the

particles. This result implies that even when all the parti-

cles in the composite are fractured, the brittle particles con-

tribute to stiffening and strengthening, so treating the

cracked particle as a crack in the matrix (or a void for that

matter) is not a valid assumption. In the case of Al/SiC

p

ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6 367

Fig. 12. Comparison of stabilized experimental and predicted cyclic stress-strain

response for a Al/SiC/30

p

composite.

Fig. 13. Comparisons of the finite element predictions with the analytical bounds

obtained from self-consistent estimates for the Al/SiC

p

composite. Experimental results

for the 20 vol. % reinforcement composite are shown by discrete data points where the

numbers (in %) denote the fraction of broken particles.

Chawla, Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

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composites the ratio of reinforcement modulus to matrix

modulus is about 6. It was found from a parametric analy-

sis that for composites with this ratio equal to about 3, the

enhancement in Young's modulus due to particle reinforce-

ment will be offset by the reduction in Young's modulus

due to particle fracture.

[77]

Similar calculations can be made for exploring the effects

of particle fracture on the plastic response of the composite.

Figure 14 shows the predicted tensile stress-strain curves

with and without particle fracture for the same material

above containing 20 vol. % unit cylinder particles. For

cracked particles, two cases of crack length, a, were consid-

ered: a = r

0

and a = 1.001 r

0

, the second case being that the

crack has grown slightly into the matrix. The calculations

were terminated at the fracture strain observed in the ex-

periment. A drastic difference exists for the two cases of

cracked particles, which was not the case for the elastic re-

sponse of the composites. A detailed analysis can be found

in reference

[112]

. When the crack tip is at a small distance

into the matrix rather than right at the particle-matrix inter-

face, the overall stress carrying capability and work hard-

ening decrease significantly. For comparison purposes, the

experimental tensile curve is also shown in Figure 14. Near

final failure, the experimental curve shows much lower

work hardening and falls below the case of a = r

0

(assuming

all particles have cracked), which suggests that, in practice,

many cracks would grow into the matrix originating from

particle fracture, and final failure by ductile linkage of ex-

isting cracks may take place. For other approaches devoted

to various aspects of the progressive development of rein-

forcement damage, including analytical modeling, the read-

er may consult references

[112±120]

.

Received: November 09, 2000

Final version: January 11, 2001

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[121] We follow the standard notation for metallic composites

designated by the Aluminum Association. The matrix

alloy is followed by the reinforcement composition. The

latter is denoted as a particular reinforcement by the

subscript ªpº. The volume fraction can also be intro-

duced in this notation followed by the heat treatment,

e.g. 2080 matrix reinforced with 20 % SiC, peak-aged,

would be denoted 2080/SiC/20

p

-T6.

370 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001, 3, No. 6

______________________

but the higher density of dislocations also causes an acceleration in the time to peak-aging compared to the unreinforced alloy of a similar composition. He has published more than thirty-five papers in international journals. and the University of Michigan. When Nikhilesh Chawla is currently Assistant Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at Arizona State University. consisting of solution treating. metal matrix composites. The extent of indirect strengthening is more difficult to quantify than the contribution from direct strengthening. Thus. Tensile Behavior In metal matrix composites. In this manner. and a senior development engineer at Hoeganaes Corp. with particular attention devoted to the thermo-mechanical behavior of materials. Chawla et al. in Engineering from Brown University in 1994. Krajewski et al. Thus. from the University of Michigan in 1997.[14] Not only is there a preferential distribution of precipitates in the particle/matrix interface region. upon cooling. and powder metallurgy materials. He was a post-doctoral research associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining The University of New Mexico in 1996. prior to joining Arizona State University in 2000. at a fairly low stress.[18] The incorporation of particles in the matrix so results in an increase in ªapparent work hardeningº in the material. thermallyinduced dislocation punching results in ªindirect strengtheningº of the matrix. The term ªapparentº is used here because the higher observed work hardening rate is a simple function of lower matrix volume (by incorporation of the particles) and not necessarily due to a change in work hardening mechanisms. the reinforcing phase typically is much stiffer than the matrix. It was also shown that in peak-aged materials only (without rolling). since a larger amount of interfacial area exists for dislocation punching to take place. This point is termed the proportional limit stress. including metal matrix composites. 358 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001.[16±18] The initial microyielding stress decreases with increasing volume fraction. the thermal mismatch between the high expansion metallic matrix and the low expansion ceramic is typically quite high.D. Thus.D. as the number of stress concentrating points increases. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites In metal matrix composites. In this manner.[7] and obtained extremely good correlation. He received his Ph.[10±13] In age-hardenable matrix materials. He has authored or co-authored close to 40 publications and is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award (2001) and The Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2001). No. followed by aging (T8 treatment) to provide a homogeneous distribution of dislocations (and subsequently precipitates) in both the matrix of the composite and the unreinforced alloy. as described above. Microplasticity in the composites has been attributed to stress concentrations in the matrix at the poles of the reinforcement and/or at sharp corners of the reinforcing particles. where a high stiffness ceramic reinforcement is embedded in a metallic alloy. the strengthening in the composite could be partitioned into direct and indirect strengthening components.Chawla. An increase in reinforcement volume fraction or a decrease in particle size increases the amount of indirect strengthening. and structural integrity of microelectronic devices and packages. Microplasticity takes place in MMCs. Chawla's research interests include the mechanical behavior of advanced materials at bulk and small length scales. He was a postdoctoral fellow jointly at Ford Motor Co. rolling. dislocations form at the reinforcement/matrix interface due to the thermal mismatch. REVIEWS 3. the thermally-induced dislocations (formed upon quenching from the solution treatment) serve as heterogeneous nucleation sites for precipitate formation during the aging treatment. Currently his main effort is in the areas of materials modeling. a significant fraction of the stress is initially borne by the reinforcement. Prof. Pb-free solders. Prof. 3. Shen's research interest encompasses materials and mechanics. the difference in strengthening between unreinforced and composite could be attributed primarily to load transfer to the reinforcement.[15] used a thermomechanical treatment.[9] compared experimental data on T8-matrix composites with a simple modified shear lag analysis proposed by Nardone and Prewo. which corresponds to a slight deviation from linearity in the stress-strain curve. 6 . Yu-Lin Shen is currently Assistant Professor and Regents' Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He received his Ph. the higher work hardening rate observed in the composites is due to geometric constraints imposed by the presence of the reinforcement.

coupled with brittle fracture of the SiC particles. Cracked particles do not carry any In general. do not contribute to load transfer or strengthening and would decrease strength. The work hardening rate increases with increasing volume fraction of reinforcement (and decreasing matrix volume).22] This is attributed to the formaaspect ratio whiskers than with particles.Chawla. 6 359 . Figure 1 shows the tensile behavior of an Al-Cu-Mg (2080)/SiCp-T8[121] composite with varying volume fraction (at a constant particle size of 5 lm) and varying particle size (at a constant volume fraction of 20 %). macroscopic yield and tensile strengths were observed. higher elastic modulus. At relatively large particle sizes of this material. however. An higher work hardening rate has also been observed with enhanced creep resistance was also obtained with the higher decreasing particle size. which may result from processing of composites with fairly coarse particulate reinforcement. Tensile fracture surface of a particulate reinforced composite showing dimpled fracture in the matrix strength. The microstructure was maintained relatively constant by introducing a T8 treatment to all composites. which take place at a lower far field applied strain than that observed in the unreinforced material. Tensile behavior of an Al-Cu-Mg (2080)/SiCp-T8 composite with: a) varying with a decrease in particle size (Fig. 3). because the probability of a strength-limiting flaw existing in the volume of the material decreases. due to plastic incompatibility between the reinforcement and matrix. documented by several investigators. in particle size. that because of the higher 20p and 6061/SiC/20w. No. so greatly increases the creep resistance over the unreinforced the strength is lower than that of the unreinforced material. indicating that the shear strength at the interface was higher than the particle fracture Fig.[21. the matrix is placed under great constraint with an inability for strain relaxation to take place. 3.. presumably due to tion of dislocation tangles around the particles. obtained in the composite with an accompanying higher senthat the nucleated voids are unable to coalesce as easily.26] Nieh[26] studied the creep behavior of 6061/SiC/ has also been proposed. It alloy. The effect of particle size on tensile behavior. With increasing volume fraction. e. and the formation of a dislocation cell structure with a cell size inversely proportional to the interparticle spacing.[19±21] indicates an increase in ductility Fig. more load is transferred to the reinforcement which also results in a higher ultimate tensile strength. 2. 1b). REVIEWS ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. coupled with lower ductility (Fig. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites the matrix is significantly work hardened. compared to the unreinforced alloy. A much higher creep resistance was plastic constraint imposed by the lower interparticle spacing. The lower ductility can be attributed to the earlier onset of void nucleation with increasing amount of reinforcement. a 4. The high stress concentration at the tips of the cracked particles would also contribute to a lower ductility in the composite.[25.[24] Notice that the particle/matrix interface remains intact. This causes the onset of void nucleation and propagation. above 20 lm. Creep Behavior significant amount of particle cracking takes place during extrusion prior to testing. 1a).[20] A sitivity to applied stress (much higher stress exponent n). 1.g. With an increase in volume fraction. This may be attributvolume fraction (at a constant particle size of 5 lm) and b) varying particle size (at a ed to an increase in the SiC particle strength with a decrease constant volume fraction of 20 %). 2). and compared it to the unreinforced 6061 alloy (Fig. It should be noted that cracked particles in the composite. the addition of a high stiffness reinforcement load effectively and can be effectively thought of as voids.[23] The tensile fracture surface of a particulate reinforced composite shows quite a contrast between the dimpled nature of fracture in the matrix coupled with brittle fracture of the SiC particles (Fig.

The latter two variables are corrected for temperature dependence.[38] The reinforcement may contribute to changes in the matrix during creep by localized recrystallization at corners or interfaces and precipitate coarsening at the particle/matrix interface. perhaps due to increasingly lower interfacial shear strength and lower efficiency in load transfer to the whisker reinforcement. the enhancement of dislocation/dislocation interactions can contribute to rR.[34] Due to the higher apparent work hardening rate. incoherent with the matrix. and add that in ingot metallurgy composites. Exceptionally high creep rates were observed at the highest stress levels.[26] Notice the higher creep resistance of the whisker reinforced material. Fatigue Behavior Much of the driving force for development of MMCs has been that monolithic lightweight alloys have inadequate fatigue resistance for many demanding applications. resulting from relaxation of the strain field of dislocations at the particle/matrix interface. is significant. lower volume of matrix material. served as effective barriers for dislocation motion and gave rise to a threshold creep stress.[31±33] By introducing the threshold stress. the general steady-state creep rate is modified to: rÀrr n ÀQ ess A (1) exp RT E where A is a constant. perhaps due to dislocations breaking away from solute atom atmospheres. compared with powder metallurgy-processed composites of the same composition. The physical explanation for the threshold stress in the discontinuously reinforced composite system can be attributed to a variety of reasons:[29] (1) Orowan bowing between particles. Li and Langdon[41] also proposed two separate classes of creep behavior in metal matrix composites.[35] In addition to the threshold stress. as the 5. with a stress exponent of around 5 and an activation energy similar to the value for self-diffusion in the matrix. oxide dispersions (not present in the unreinforced alloy) may also contribute to extremely high ªanomalousº values of n and Q. In class A (alloy type) metals. i. It has also been observed that below a critical strain rate diffusional relaxation around the SiC particles is the rate-controlling mechanism. 6 . Creep behavior of particle and whisker reinforced composites. originally used to explain the high values for Q and n in dispersionstrengthened alloys. such as SiC. with a stress exponent of around 3 and an activation energy associated with the viscous drag of the solute atmospheres.28±30] Nardone and Strife[28] rationalized this by proposing the concept of a threshold stress rr. viscous glide is the rate-controlling mechanism because of the absence of oxide particles.26. the resolved shear stress on dislocations in the matrix may be lowered significantly below that required for Orowan bowing. 3.[41] It should be noted that in unreinforced solid solution alloys a transition exists between class M behavior at low stresses to class A behavior at higher stresses. a greater degree of load is carried by the high stiffness particles. more effective load transfer from the matrix to the high stiffness reinforcement.37] and interfacial decohesion at the particle/matrix interface. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites applied load is carried by the high stiffness reinforcement. 3. The high creep stress exponent and increase in exponent with decreasing applied stress were attributed to the oxide particles in the matrix. have been reported in MMCs. (2) backstress associated with dislocation climb. It was observed that at intermediate temperatures (500±720 K) the strength is controlled by the whiskers.[39] suggested that the presence of fine oxide particles. Webster[27] also characterized the creep behavior of the matrix alloy and its whisker reinforced composite with increasing temperature. No. can result in a substantial increase in fatigue resistance while maintaining cost at an acceptable level. as the load is transferred to the high modulus and aspect ratio reinforcement. Load transfer to the reinforcement. although this mechanism is more plausible at ambient temperature. while above this point. E is the elastic modulus of the composite.40] Park et al. (3) attractive force between dislocations and particles. In class M (pure metal type) materials dislocation climb is the rate-controlling mechanism. It has been shown that in powder processed composite materials. The strength becomes matrix-controlled at very high temperatures (720± 900 K). additional proposed mechanisms for the anomalously high values of Q and n include power law break-down of the matrix[36. Li and Langdon[40] support this conclusion. and stress exponent. With increasing load transfer to the reinforcement. and Q is the activation energy. Q. The use of a high stiffness ceramic reinforcement in particulate form.[42] REVIEWS Fig.. This is an impor- 360 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. Anomalously high values of the activation energy. n.[25.[39.e. despite the lower aspect ratios of particles and whiskers. due to more effective load transfer to the reinforcement. viscous dislocation glide is the rate-controlling mechanism. where the density of precipitates is the highest (because of the dislocation defects being higher at the interface). arising from the powder metallurgy process used to fabricate the composite.Chawla. for creep deformation.

[53±55] In fatigue. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites tant design criterion in many applications. measuring fatigue crack growth versus stress intensity at the crack tip. Throughout the fatigue process. and non-reinforcement dispersoids or inclusions (such as Fe-rich inclusions that are formed during processing). the matrix microstructure also significantly influences the fatigue behavior of the composite. grain size. the presence of inclusions or defects that arise from processing. 5b). while a thermal treatment only (T6) resulted in coarser and inhomogeneously distributed S' precipitates.[9] Figure 5a shows the coarsening and increase in precipitate spacing in the matrix of MMCs overaged at various temperatures for 24 hours.e. high strength reinforcement. in automotive components. the reinforcement interparticle spacing decreases. resulting in more barriers for the reversible slip motion that takes place during fatigue. which reduces the strengthening effect of precipitates.. the T6 matrix composites exhibited higher fatigue resistance than the T8 matrix composites. resulting in coarsening of the precipitate structure. No. and a decrease in strain localization by cyclic slip refinement. ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. shape. and testing environment. Because of finer and more closely spaced precipitates. most of the load is carried by the high modulus. Factors affecting the matrix microstructure include size. For the composites subjected to higher overaging temperatures. Vyletel et al. 4.g. however. matrix microstructure.[19] Narrowing of the particle size range distribution also results in higher fatigue life. stability.[52] showed that there was no significant difference in fatigue behavior between naturally aged and artificially aged MMC. Overaging heat treatments also modify the matrix microstructure. which include resistance to dislocation motion and pileup at precipitates and/or reinforcement particles and cracking along slip bands. The fatigue resistance of particulate MMCs depends on a variety of factors. Chawla et al. the precipitates are fine enough that it is believed that the precipitates are cut by dislocations and localized slip takes place. has also been used extensively by several investigators.) on fatigue life of a 2080/SiCp composite. particle size. failure processes are affected by a variety of microstructural factors. Above a critical particle size. the yield strength REVIEWS Fig. 4). and spacing of precipitates. This is to be expected since coarser precipitates result in a larger interprecipitate spacing and easier bypass of dislocations.[51] In addition to particle reinforcement. 6 361 . A Paris Law approach. This can be attributed to "ductility exhaustion" of the composites in the low cycle fatigue regime.54] In the T8 materials. Increasing precipitate spacing decreases both fatigue strength and fatigue lifetime (Fig. Thus. This contrasting behavior between monotonic and cyclic loading can be attributed to the strong influence of the presence. 3. Contrary to conventional wisdom for monolithic materials. so for a given stress. Despite its lower yield strength. finer grain sizes generally result in improved properties. With decreasing particle size. The effect of grain size has not been explicitly examined. Increasing volume fraction of the reinforcement results in enhanced fatigue resistance.[46±49] Several studies have shown that increasing volume fraction and decreasing particle size both result in enhanced fatigue resistance.. for a given matrix alloy composition and volume fraction of reinforcement. the composite that underwent a T8 treatment exhibited higher yield strengths than the T6 materials. particularly when eliminating larger particles that are more prone to cracking. while retaining a homogeneous precipitate distribution. which directly influences fatigue life. Here we concentrate on stress versus cycles (S-N) fatigue behavior. e. the composite undergoes a lower average strain than the unreinforced alloy. because of the increased propensity for particle cracking as the particle size increases.e. reinforcement fracture is predominant and contributes to premature fatigue life. Effect of reinforcement volume fraction (5 lm SiC particle size. in MMCs high matrix yield and ultimate tensile strength do not necessarily reflect high fatigue strength (defined here as fatigue runout at 107 cycles). the larger precipitate size allows them to retain their precipitates structure and strength during fatigue. depending on precipitate coherency and size. even though the naturally aged material had a much lower yield and ultimate strength.[9] compared two materials with constant reinforcement volume fraction and particle size. These improvements are most pronounced at lower stresses. i. i.[53.50] In the composite.[19. for a given reinforcement volume fraction. thereby impairing the fatigue strength. the fatigue lives of particle reinforced metal matrix composites are generally longer than those of unreinforced metals (Fig. In the T6 materials. A thermomechanical treatment (T8) of the Al-Cu-Mg alloy produced a fine and homogeneous distribution of S' precipitates. while at high stress the differences between reinforced and unreinforced materials are reduced.[43±45] The effect of these factors on the fatigue behavior of particle reinforced MMCs is summarized in this section. but composites follow the same trend as monolithic materials.Chawla. in the high cycle fatigue regime. including reinforcement particle volume fraction. dislocations either cut precipitates or loop around them during cyclic deformation. but very different microstructures. and morphology of the S' precipitates in the matrix of the composite.

56] These defects act as stress concentrators that increase the local stress intensity in the material and promote easy crack nucleation. the temshould not be taken as the determining factor for fatigue perature at which the composite is aged becomes very imporresistance. the stress concentration in a composite where the inclusion is surrounded by high stiffness reinforcement particles. in temperature to 170 C resulted in a and fatigue strength also decrease with increasing precipitate modest decrease in fatigue strength. Rather. REVIEWS 362 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. While crack growth is relatively unimpeded in unreinforced materials (Fig. 6b). Precipitate coarsening and increase in precipitate spacing in MMCs is fatigue strength occurred between 25 observed.[19. In extruded materials. Increasing precipitate spacing decreases both fatigue strength and fatigue lifetime (precipiand 150 C. particularly in powder metallurgy processed materials. the overall size of inclusions is also lower in composites since the ceramic reinforcement particles break the brittle inclusions into smaller sizes during extrusion. cracks seem to originate relatively early in fatigue life (around 10 % of total life). and b) Fatigue life. Effect of overaging on: a) Microstructure. It should be mentioned that precipitate size alone elevated temperature fatigue resistance is a criterion. It is interesting to note that in the low cycle regime. In applications where spacing. higher probability for crack initiation is present at the surface. crack initiation can occur quite late (after about 70±90 % of the life of the specimen). Figure 7 shows the elevated temperature fatigue performance of MMCs in comparison with the room temperature data shown in Figure 4.[57] This is because inclusions at the surface are more highly stressed than inclusions completely within the matrix (where more load is borne by the reinforcement). the precipitates should be of sufficient size to not be susceptible to precipitate shearing. Processing-related defects in the form of intermetallic inclusions or particle clusters are also part of the matrix microstructure. Notice that crack growth is hindered by mechanisms such as crack composite. which are typically located at the surface of the specimen. 6. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites lower stress than a similar inclusion in the unreinforced alloy.Chawla.[19. 3.[60] The most significant debit in Fig. and play a role in fatigue strength. but semi. thus. Fatigue crack initiation and growth in a) unreinforced 2080 Al and b) in 2080/ is being ªsharedº by the high stiffness SiC particles in the SiCp composite. crack growth is hindered by mechanisms such as crack deflection and crack trapping in the composite (Fig. 6a). is lower than in the unreinforced alloy. For a given inclusion size. 5. Since more of the load Fig. 6 . on the other hand.58] In the high cycle regime.or completely coherent with the matrix to impose repulsive stress fields against dislocation motion. The incremental increase tate spacings are given in parentheses). so a higher stress concentration and. an inclusion in the composite will be subjected to deflection and crack trapping in the composite.[59] Several MMC applications will require fatigue resistance at elevated temperatures (on the order of 150± 175 C). It has been shown that crack initiation during fatigue takes place at these defects. No.

various methods have been proposed to estimate the overall elastoplastic response as well as the bounds for effective elastic moduli of the composite. In particle reinforced metal matrix composites. Young's modulus) from the known properties of its constituents and (b) revealing deformation and damage characteristics. and spatial distribution within the matrix. Comprehensive reviews of the literature can be found in references. In the following sections. 3. but assumes that the moduli of the infinite medium are equal to the overall moduli of the composite.º ªM. For spherical inclusions. although the decrease in fatigue strength due to temperature is significantly higher than the decrease in yield strength. the Mura expressions for the effective moduli are D 4 @ A5À1 4À5mM l lM 1 f lM À lR lM 2 lR À lM (7) 15 1ÀmM 4 K KM 1 f KM À KR D@ 1mM 1 KM KR À KM 3 1ÀmM A5À1 (8) 7. The results based on this approach are only valid for relatively small volume fractions (smaller than about 0.º and ªRº refer to the upper and lower bound estimates. Given the moduli of the matrix and reinforcement. shape.[61±67] Here we briefly discuss selected where m is the Poisson's ratio. the overall bounds of Young's modulus are then obtained by Equations 2±5 and the following relation between E. lower 6f KR 2lR 1 lM ÀlR 5lR 3KR 4lR 5À1 l 6 1Àf KM 2lM 1 lM f 5lM 3KM 4lM lR ÀlM (5) tant. where K and l are the bulk and shear moduli. At slightly higher temperatures than the aging temperature.5). Budiansky's selfconsistent relation is given by[72] ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. 7.. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites analytical models that predict the effective modulus of the composite. and damage related issues. No. and matrix and reinforcement. we discuss the prediction of effective properties. a severe decrease in fatigue strength may take place because of significant matrix overaging. respectively. Prediction of Effective Properties The mechanical properties of a particle reinforced MMCs are dependent on factors such as reinforcement volume fraction. and f is the volume fraction of reinforcing particles. The effective Young's modulus of composites with spherical reinforcements. 6 363 . and l: E 9K 13Kal (6) 6. Although it is a very complex problem. deformation characteristics. This approach has been employed quite extensively in modified forms in the analyses of discontinuously reinforced composite materials.[70±76] Mura[70] provided estimates for finite concentrations of reinforcements.25) of reinforcing particles. Modeling of Mechanical Behavior Analytical and numerical modeling of MMCs provide an effective means of (a) predicting effective properties of the composite (e. This may be caused by changes in matrix microstructure and decrease in matrix strength from a combination of long-term exposure and cyclic stress at elevated temperatures. can be predicted by a self-consistent method proposed by Kroner[71] and Budiansky. contiguity. respectively. with a large volume fraction (greater than 0. Hashin and Shtrikman[68] proposed upper and lower bounds for an isotropic aggregate based on variational principles of linear elasticity: 4 5À1 1 3f upper K KR 1 À f (2) KM ÀKR 3KR 4lR K lower REVIEWS 1 3 1Àf KM f KR ÀKM 3KM 4lM 4 4 5À1 (3) 5À1 (4) lupper lR 1 À f 4 Fig.[72] This method is also based on Eshelby's equivalent inclusion model. numerical modeling is often more effective than analytical modeling since the composites lack the structural simplicity of continuous fiber composites or laminates and hence are not readily amenable to closed-form theoretical analyses. Eshelby[69] treated the three-dimensional elasticity problem of a single ellipsoidal inclusion in an infinite matrix.º ªlower.g. The composite Young's modulus is then obtained from Equation 6. Taking the reinforcement geometry to be spherical. K. The superscripts ªupper.Chawla. The fatigue strength in the composites seems to be directly proportional to the strength of the matrix. Elevated temperature fatigue performance of an MMC in comparison with the room temperature data shown in Figure 4.

Once again. 9. c) double-cone and d) sphere. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites REVIEWS l lM l2 lR Àl 4À5mf15 1Àmg K KR ÀK 1mf1Àmg 3 1 fl lR ÀlM À1 (9) K KM fK KR ÀKM À1 (10) Solutions are obtained by setting m 3KÀ2l 2 l3K (11) and solving Equatations 9 and 10 simultaneously.5Cu alloy reinforced with 0. ªdoubleconeº and ªsphereº (Figs. 8a. Equatations 7 and 8. development of residual stresses. matches the numerical prediction for spherical particles well when the reinforcement fraction is small. the experimental values are slightly lower than the numerical predictions for unit cylinders. b) truncated cylinder. are incorporated into the simulation of the mechanical properties. numerical techniques such as finite element analysis have become increasingly more popular.Chawla. thermomechanical history of the composite. that take into consideration particle morphology and clustering of particles.[78] Numerical predictions of the effective Young's modulus for an Al/SiCp composite are shown in Figure 9. The left boundaries represent the axially symmetric axes. (Matrix: Al-3. A periodic arrangement of particles with the shape of a ªunit cylinderº. 6 . This may be attributed to some degree of particle fracture during thermomechanical processing. Examples of unit-cell models are shown in Figure 8. respectively) may be simulated using the appropriate boundary conditions. Both numerical curves fall within the Hashin-Shtrikman bounds described by Equatations 2±5. As an alternative to analytical modeling. No. load transfer by a shear-lag type of mechanism is more effective across a planar interface than a spherical interface. 6. Clearly.[80] The results shown in 364 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. The predictions of the self-consistent method by Budiansky. Above this volume fraction. reinforcement: SiC particles. One common approach is to use a unit-cell model. The numerical predictions show fairly good agreement with experimental results on the effective elastic moduli obtained for a Al-3. 13 and 20 vol. Mura's model. Although the SiC particles in actual materials contain sharp corners. where the composite Young's modulus (normalized by the Young's modulus of the matrix) for unit cylinder and spherical reinforcement are plotted as a function of reinforcement volume concentration and compared with analytical predictions. Fig. Equatations 9 and 10. b. so spherical particles are not necessarily a realistic choice for simulation. Object oriented finite element techniques have been employed that are able to incorporate the ªtrueº composite microstructures.[77] It should be noted that in actual composites the particles commonly contain sharp corners. 8. % SiC particles. the composite Young's modulus is then obtained by Equatation 6. as a basis for analysis using finite element techniques. to simulate a composite material with a periodic array of reinforcement. and particle clustering in the composite. as discussed above. in which the left vertical boundary represents the axially symmetric axis and mirror symmetry exists about the bottom boundary. Comparisons of the variation of effective Young's modulus (normalized by Young's modulus of the unreinforced matrix) as a function of reinforcement volume fraction among the numerical and analytical results. Types of unit cells used for simulating different reinforcement shapes in a composite: a) unit cylinder. unit cylinder particle has a greater stiffening effect than the spherical particle.) Experimental points are shown as squares. ªtruncated cylinderº. match the numerical predictions for spherical particles very closely for a reinforcement fraction less than about 0. this method predicts a stiffer response with the spherical reinforcement than the finite element method. The Fig. c and d.[79] which are also shown in Figure 9. where one or more reinforcement particles are embedded within the Al matrix. where the geometry of the components. 3.35.5 Cu alloy. but a significant deviation occurs at larger reinforcement fractions.

11.2 for instance.5Cu alloy) and the SiC particles as an elastic solid. Also included in the figure is the stress-strain response used for the pure matrix. resulting in indirect strengthening. Characterizing the matrix as an isotropically hardening elastic-plastic solid (following the experimental stress-strain curve of a peak-aged Al-3. and cyclic stressstrain response. 8a). with and without the presence of thermal residual stress. The higher flow stress for the composite is a direct consequence of load transfer from the matrix to the reinforcement. Similar numerical approaches to that described above can be used to model the overall inelastic response of the composite. ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. When compared with the material free of residual stresses. During cooling the matrix at the particle/matrix interface undergoes yielding. At higher particle fractions the composite behavior will be dominated by the boundary conditions imposed on the unit cell. less than 0. possessing the ªsharpestº type of corners. The readers are referred to these references for detailed analyses. does not imply that particles with sharp corners have a more pronounced strengthening effect. The rule-of-mixtures approach is based on the condition of isostrain between matrix and reinforcement. It can be seen in Figure 11 that in the presence of thermal stresses a lower slope is observed at the early stage of deformation. This means that the existence of residual stresses enhances the initial strain hardening rate in the material. however. 3. Predicted tensile stress-strain curves of the Al/SiC/20p composite. Deformation Behavior In this section we focus on three aspects of composite deformation: thermal stress. Thermal Stress The thermal expansion mismatch between the reinforcement and the matrix results in thermal stresses within the composite upon cooling from the processing temperature to ambient temperature. No. The predicted behavior of the Al matrix is also included and the stress values are normalized by the matrix yield strength. direct strengthening effects are observed. Comparing the curves for the pure matrix and for the composite without thermal residual stresses. 8. as shown by the case of ªdouble-coneº particles. Fig. creep behavior.[91±93] 8. so care must be taken in interpreting the modeling result. respectively. particle shape has a significant influence on the overall tensile behavior of the composite. 20 C. with and without the presence of thermal residual stresses. The unit-cylinder particles clearly strengthen the composite more than the other three shapes under a constant reinforcement fraction. the simple unit-cell approach presented above shows reasonably accurate results for the elastic response. higher values of the average axial stress were observed. due to the slightly lower apparent Young's modulus arising from prior plastic deformation.1. 6 365 . The stress values are normalized by the matrix yield strength. the calculated tensile stress-strain response of Al/SiC/20p composites. Predicted tensile stress-strain curves for the Al/SiC/20p composite with the various reinforcement shapes. Other simple unit-cell approaches focusing on various aspects of elastoplastic behavior of composites have been reported. This.Chawla. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites Figure 9 clearly indicate that a simple rule-of-mixtures approach is not valid in estimating the effective modulus of particle reinforced MMCs. in actual composites thermal residual stresses are relieved by plastic deformation in the matrix.[13] Figure 11 shows the calculated tensile stress-strain curves for 20 % SiC reinforced Al alloy utilizing the unit-cylinder particles (Fig. In some studies randomly distributed particles were also included in the computational model. are shown in Figure 10.[8. Clearly. A detailed analysis[80] showed that the unit-cylinder and double-cone particles result in. to room temperature. especially for the inelastic behavior. having the four particle shapes described above. As before. when the particle fraction is small. and hence is valid only for continuous fiber reinforcement with high aspect ratios. the matrix was taken to be an isotropically hardening elastic-plastic material in the model.77-90] In general. This directly reflects the different extents of constrained plastic flow and hence the strengthening behavior in the composite. As mentioned above. The thermal residual stresses were calculated for a composite cooled from the solutionizing temperature of 500 C. 10. where the composite is in a relatively stress-free state. the highest and lowest degrees of disturbance of the local plastic flow paths in the matrix.[77] This has direct bearing on subsequent loading of the material. which is also related to the REVIEWS Fig.

[106.[96±98] REVIEWS their materials.107] Figure 12 shows the stabilized stress-strain response predicted by the staggered sphere model. which is reflected in the macroscopic stress-strain behavior. More sophisticated aspects of creep deformation. in a stress-controlled cyclic test with the stress range well within the elastic limit of the unreinforced material. 8. have been predicted. The effects of local plasticity and microvoids on the composite CTE have also been addressed along with experimental measurements. Assuming a spherical particle and the power-law creep formulation for the metal matrix. Cyclic Stress-Strain Behavior Characterizing the cyclic stress-strain behavior is one of the crucial steps toward understanding fatigue performance. Shen et al. the anomalous behavior of stress exponent and activation energy described in previous sections cannot be easily studied numerically. Although the unit-cell model shown in Figure 8d was followed. which is well below the elastic limit of 489 MPa for the unreinforced alloy.g. 6 . Davis and Allison[99] showed that the ratio of composite to matrix steady-state creep rates depends primarily on the volume fraction and geometry of the reinforcing phase. In short-fiber reinforced composites..3. Specifically. hardening plasticity rather than perfect plasticity in the present case). A similar result was obtained for the case of rigid reinforcing particles. through the examination of the evolution of local stress field. diffusion. based on the known CTE values and elastic-plastic properties of the constituents. with the stress exponent of the composite and that of the matrix remaining relatively constant.102]).[18] In order to adequately model the stabilized cyclic response without encountering elastic shake-down. In the model strain hardening caused by cool down-induced plasticity leads to subsequent higher strength for the composite with thermal stresses incorporated (after the crossover point). Also included in the figure are the experimentally obtained stress-strain hysteresis loop.[95] The ability to predict the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the composite is also quite important.[83] Dragon and Nix[100] carried out similar analysis and obtained similar results for composites with aligned short fibers. Under cyclic loading. Creep Behavior A continuum-based unit-cell approach has also been used to model creep of metal matrix composites. the lower proportional limit of the composite implies that. leading to a reduced composite creep rate. In actual materials thermal mismatch-induced dislocation punching[13] renders a higher matrix strength due to strain hardening. This treatment. although the composite shows a much higher macroscopic yield strength. 8. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites constrained plastic flow within the matrix. that the apparent early reversed yielding for the composite arises from the non-uniformity of deformation in matrix caused by the constraint imposed by the brittle reinforcement. applies only to certain classes of discontinuously reinforced MMCs. Thus.[80] where it was demonstrated. Since microstructural evolution cannot be easily accounted for in most finite element models. Direct comparisons of numerical modeling and experimental measurements of residual stresses in aluminum matrix composites have also been reported. 3.[94] illustrated that the composite CTE is much less sensitive to variations in particle geometry than in the cases of elastic and plastic response. and grain boundary sliding have also been included in some models (e.e. The higher resistance to creep for the composite is largely attributed to the constrained matrix flow. references[101. The predicted hysteresis loop is in extremely good agreement with the experiment.2.Chawla. such as interfacial slip. in the modeling presented below kinematic hardening was assumed for the matrix with its elastic-plastic behavior taken from the experimental stress-strain behavior of the unreinforced Al alloy.[17] This means that the proportional limit for the composite is actually lower than that of monolithic matrix material.[105] This was confirmed for particle reinforced composites. however. a staggered distribution of particles was used to model the random orientation of particles. An examination of the deformation pattern in the computational domain reveals that localized plastic deformation occurs in the matrix even when the overall applied stress is well within the elastic range for the unreinforced matrix. The stress amplitude imposed is 350 MPa.[104] even when the matrix is assumed to exhibit isotropic hardening behavior (i. By considering randomly oriented short fibers in the metal matrix. Dragon and Nix[103] were able to predict the observed high values of stress exponent and activation energy found in 366 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001.g. particularly in applications where dimensional stability and the capability of matching the thermal expansion of other materials under thermal loading conditions is critical. the composite can actually develop a cyclic plasticity. cyclic plasticity arises from plasticity at the poles of the reinforcement along the loading direction and adjacent to the reinforcement where the interface is roughly at 45 to the loading axis (maximum shear). high local effective stresses trigger early local yielding after the load is reversed. no Bauschinger effect exists). This has been shown experimentally for the 2080/SiCp-T8 composite. The above microplasticity effect in the composite is the same mechanism that causes the experimentally observed early deviation from linearity of the tensile stress-strain curve for metal matrix composites compared to the monolithic matrix material observed experimentally.. when appropriate constitutive models are chosen (e. Thus. No.. The effective CTE of particle reinforced metal matrix composites. as was observed experimentally.[80] A comparison of the two composite curves reveals the indirect strengthening effect. the composite shows a distinct Bauschinger effect upon reversed loading. continuumbased numerical modeling can provide insights into the deformation mechanisms.

growth and coalescence of voids within the metallic matrix. Also plotted for comparison purposes are the finite element predictions for the case where the particles remain intact (denoted as ªFEM: perfect particlesº) and the case where the unreinforced matrix contains the same fraction of aligned.[77. spanning along the bottom side from the lowerleft corner over a distance of r0 in the models shown in Figure 8). 12.82. where all the SiC particles are fractured.e. The results of Figure 13 reveal that the overall elastic moduli of the Al/SiCp composites. The Al matrix and the interface are assumed to remain free of damage. the unit-cell models in Figure 8 can be employed to directly study the effects of particle cracking on composite properties. the brittle particles contribute to stiffening and strengthening. are higher than those of the unreinforced matrix with a concentration of penny-shaped flaws equal to the concentration of the particles. In the remainder of this section.5Cu matrix reinforced with 20 vol. If large deformation is involved in experiments. although only a limited number of numerical studies have modeled matrix failure and interfacial effects. No. although the changes in matrix fields due to the presence of the crack in the reinforcement are accounted for by the analysis. possible microstructural changes can then influence the cyclic response of the composite. Comparisons of the finite element predictions with the analytical bounds obtained from self-consistent estimates for the Al/SiCp composite. Fig. 6 367 . It should be noted that our treatment of microplasticity or the Bauschinger effect in general is limited to the continuum assumption.[79.109. The latter FEM predictions for the matrix cracking are in excellent agreement with the analytical prediction[111] of the decrease in Young's modulus (in the direction normal to the crack plane) with increasing volume fraction of aligned penny-shaped cracks in the matrix alloy (denoted as ªanalytical. The discrete points in Figure 13 show the experimentally measured elastic moduli for different fractions of fractured particles for the peakaged Al-3. Experimental results for the 20 vol. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites REVIEWS Fig. and/or decohesion and crack growth along the particle/matrix interface. void nucleation. with an existing crack. Comparison of stabilized experimental and predicted cyclic stress-strain response for a Al/SiC/30p composite. For this discussion the reader is referred to Pragnell et al. This result implies that even when all the particles in the composite are fractured.[108] 9. pennyshaped cracks as the fraction of the reinforcing particles (denoted as ªFEM: penny-shaped cracks in matrixº).112] As expected. the other failure mechanisms are also important. Thus the model represents an upper bound for particle damage (or lower bound for effective composite strength) wherein all the reinforcing particles in the composite are cracked.º penny-shaped cracks in matrix). Here we consider the unit cylinder particle. Of these mechanisms fracture of the reinforcement particles is very important. cutting through the middle section of the SiC particle (i. Clearly. Figure 13 shows the finite element predictions (denoted as ªFEM: cracked particlesº) of the overall Young's modu- lus (in the axial direction) of the composite as a function of the different fractions of cracked SiC particles. so treating the cracked particle as a crack in the matrix (or a void for that matter) is not a valid assumption. In the case of Al/SiCp ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. attention is devoted to the fracture of reinforcing particles in the composite.. Damage Modeling Modeling of damage in MMCs must take into consideration fracture of the ceramic reinforcement. 3.110] Without invoking a damage model that can predict particle fracture during loading. This analytical prediction represents the lower bound estimate for Young's modulus because it assumes that the cracked particles do not contribute to strengthening and may be considered as voids in the matrix of the composite. lying normal to the axis of the cylinder. % SiC particles.Chawla. % reinforcement composite are shown by discrete data points where the numbers (in %) denote the fraction of broken particles. The former prediction for perfect particles represents the upper bound for maximum effective Young's modulus which can also be obtained from the simple treatment of elastic particles in an elastic matrix. the experimental results fall within the bounds corresponding to the FEM predictions of particles for that volume fraction which are either fully intact or all fractured. 13.

37. Ravichandran. M.. J. 1989. Clarendon Press. Mehrabian. 1993. W. Mater. Phil. Needleman). Acta Metall. (Eds. No. [12] M. 28.. 1986. A. 2001 REVIEWS References [1] K. Scruby. UK. 21. K. 1998. Butterworth-Heinemann. Trans. Sci. It was found from a parametric analysis that for composites with this ratio equal to about 3. [15] P. Mag. R. E. Scripta Metall. Suresh. Metzger. Habel. K. in Proc. Metall. C. For cracked particles. Received: November 09. J. [11] K. Bader. Allison. C. Hirth. N. Withers. 1991. 23. Trans. Allison. Composite Materials . the reader may consult references [112±120]. G. When the crack tip is at a small distance into the matrix rather than right at the particle-matrix interface. A. 291. S. J.. Trans. M. Mater. [3] M. C. W. 1986. Jones. Wilkinson. Acta Metall. E. Butterworth-Heinemann. Trans. G. Metall. 3. Jones. J. C. Trans. Arsenault.. [26] T. 297. 15A. R. [16] J. two cases of crack length. 102. B. T. Corbin. Lewandowski. New York. Congress on Fracture ICF-10. J. 1993. 7. J. Stoneham. [4] B. 1984. 1596. Eng. Withers). R. The stress values are normalized by the matrix yield strength. the experimental curve shows much lower work hardening and falls below the case of a = r0 (assuming all particles have cracked). K. A150. C. [13] R.. 25. D. [22] J. 81. H. E. 2000. 1992. Liu. Strong Solids. Needleman). 2843. vol. A. [27] D. 34. Krajewski. R. 531±540. A drastic difference exists for the two cases of cracked particles. S. Stoneham. Park. Metall. Jones. Nardone. in Proc. Mortensen. Clyne. 21±35. Allison. 1991. Andres. 1993. 1952. Vogelsang. For other approaches devoted to various aspects of the progressive development of reinforcement damage. in Fundamentals of Metal Matrix Composites. [5] H. 6 . J. Manoharan. Lavernia. and c) all particles are fractured with the crack tip protruding slightly into the matrix (a = 1. Mater. J. S. A. 1. Metall... Eng. Sci. Chawla. Metals. E. Chawla. and final failure by ductile linkage of existing cracks may take place. Tensile stress-strain behavior of an Al/SiC/20p composite obtained from experiments and from finite element calculations assuming: a) all particles are intact. Sci. Mater. A. Mater. W. J. J. 2. 2487. 31A. Chawla. C. Trans. D. Shen/Mechanical Behavior of Particle Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites composites the ratio of reinforcement modulus to matrix modulus is about 6. R.. 2nd Ed. 2000 Final version: January 11. Sci. Strife. 1982. An Introduction to Metal Matrix Composites. E. were considered: a = r0 and a = 1. O. Suresh. Allison. E.. R. Chawla. 401. L.. M. P.. Clyne. J. 14. [10] K. Nardone. Chawla. Phys. 1989. K. Cambridge. Trans. in Fundamentals of Metal Matrix Composites. 1319. A. Piotrowski. 13A. J. Mater.. the enhancement in Young's modulus due to particle reinforcement will be offset by the reduction in Young's modulus due to particle fracture. MA. Fisher. For comparison purposes. Chawla. Shi. Allison. Y.. E. Saha. 179±186. 1987. K. Metall. D. Eng. Mohamed. 379. Figure 14 shows the predicted tensile stress-strain curves with and without particle fracture for the same material above containing 20 vol.: K. Near final failure. Chawla. J. S. B. 1972. 1973. Goodier. [21] M. J.-T. Hunt.[77] Similar calculations can be made for exploring the effects of particle fracture on the plastic response of the composite. J. Mater. C. [28] V. Webster.. Kamat. (Eds. A. [14] S. 139±146. W. 24A. Cambridge University Press. 18A. J. a. Kelly. J. in press. 39. C. 441±447. of Euromat 91. 42. 1998. Springer-Verlag. Mater. App. Fig. [20] P. G. 59 ± 61. b) right at the interface (a = r0). P. J. Appl. J. 29A. N. Cambridge. J.. 17A.Science and Engineering. Mummery. (Eds. Metall. 122. [25] F.001 r0). The calculations were terminated at the fracture strain observed in the experiment. % unit cylinder particles. J. which was not the case for the elastic response of the composites. Jr. Andres. Brit. Allison. Chawla. Metall. M. M. Derby. 38. [8] L. 1997. [17] S. K.001 r0.Chawla. 157. 2731. S. in practice. J. [9] N. K. the experimental tensile curve is also shown in Figure 14. many cracks would grow into the matrix originating from particle fracture.. Prewo. Jones. 1993. Ritchie). Khatri. P. 1973. C. 24. 1933. Arsenault. [24] N. W. Shen. E. 1994. 175.. Metall. J. A detailed analysis can be found in reference [112]. [2] T. Mech. Scripta Mater. [7] V. W. F. Scripta Metall. J... the second case being that the crack has grown slightly into the matrix. [18] N. W. MA. 109±114. [6] A. Suresh. Lewandowski. 1999. 51. 1511±1519. Mortensen. 119. J. Liu. A150. J. 368 ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2001. Mater. Andres. which suggests that. J. 2001.. Buttle. 2395. Oxford. U. 1992. of Internat. Koczak. Williams. Nieh. [23] S. [19] N. Davis. the overall stress carrying capability and work hardening decrease significantly. Cox. Trans. Maruyama.-L. J. (Eds. 3. including analytical modeling. 1993. 55±7.

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