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Global Academy of Technology



Under the guidance of

Mr. DV Ravi Kumar(PhD) Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites


Metal-matrix composites (MMCs) exhibit the ability to withstand high tensile, fatigue and compressive stresses by the transfer and distribution of the applied load from the ductile matrix to the reinforcement phase. In the recent past, these metal matrix composites (MMCs), are becoming increasingly important and drawing attention of engineers. Cenospheres (Microspheres) are hollow micro balloons made of aluminium silicate. Being waste product of thermal power plants, they are relatively inexpensive and their use has the added benefit of decreasing the strain on the environment. Cenospheres are hollow Aluminium silicate microspheres obtained from the fly ash of coal-fired thermal power plants. Their diameters vary from 10 to 300, with a typical wall thickness of about 510% of the diameter. The current work involves development of an aluminium metal matrix composite with aluminium 7075 as the matrix and fly ash Cenospheres as the reinforcement. Stir casting is intended as the method to prepare castings. Different compositions of the castings are prepared by the stir casting route. Abrasive wear studies are proposed to carry out for all the reinforced and unreinforced samples. Structure property correlation studies are also intended to be carried out for the reinforced and unreinforced counterparts.

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites

Conventional monolithic materials have limitations with respect to achievable combinations of strength, stiffness and density. In order to overcome these shortcomings and to meet the everincreasing engineering demands of modern technology, metal matrix composites are gaining importance. In recent years, discontinuously reinforced Aluminum based metal matrix composites have attracted worldwide attention as a result of their potential to replace their monolithic counterparts primarily in automobile and energy sector.

Composites A composite material is made by combining two or more materials to give a unique combination of properties, one of which is made up of stiff, long fibers and the other, a binder or 'matrix' which holds the fibers in place. Composites are a versatile and valuable family of materials that can solve problems of different applications, improve productivity, lower cost and facilitate the introduction of new properties in materials. Composite materials are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or microscopic scale within the finished structure. Composite materials are basically hybrid materials formed of multiple materials in order to utilize their individual structural advantages in a single structural material. Scientific definition of a composite material can be expressed as followed: Composite material is a material composed of two or more distinct phases (matrix phase and reinforcing phase) and having bulk properties significantly different from those of any of the constituents. Examples: wood (cellulose and lignin), bones, polyester, concrete etc. Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) Metal-matrix composites (MMCs) are engineered combinations of two or more materials (one of which is a metal) where tailored properties are achieved by systematic combinations of different constituents. Conventional monolithic materials have limitations in respect to achievable combinations of strength, stiffness and density. Engineered MMCs consisting of

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites

continuous or discontinuous fibers, whiskers or particles in a metal achieve combinations of very high specific strength and specific modulus. Furthermore, systematic design and synthesis procedures allow unique combinations of engineering properties in composites like high elevated temperature strength, fatigue strength, damping property, electrical and thermal conductivities, friction coefficient, wear resistance and expansion coefficient. Structurally, MMCs consist of continuous or discontinuous fibers, whiskers, or particles in an alloy matrix which reinforce the matrix or provide it with requisite properties not achievable in monolithic alloys. In a broader sense, cast composites, where the volume and shape of phase is governed by phase diagrams, for example, cast iron and aluminum-silicon alloys, have been produced by foundries for a long time. The modern composites differ in the sense that any selected volume, shape and size properties in composites like high elevated temperature of reinforcement can be artificially introduced in the matrix. The modern composites are non-equilibrium combinations of metals and ceramics, where there are fewer thermodynamic restrictions on the relative volume percentages, shapes and size of ceramic phases. Composite materials are attractive since they offer the possibility of attaining property combinations which are not obtained in monolithic materials and which can result in a number of significant service benefits. These could include increased strength, decreased weight, higher service temperature, improved wear resistance, higher elastic modulus, controlled coefficients of thermal expansion and improved fatigue properties. The quest for improved performance has resulted in a number of developments in the area of MMC fabrication technology .These includes both the preparation of the reinforcing phases and the development of fabrication techniques. Compared to monolithic metals, MMCs have: Higher strength to density ratios Higher stiffness to density ratios Better fatigue resistance Better elevated temperature properties Higher strength Lower creep rate Lower coefficients of thermal expansion

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites

Fly ash Fly ash is one of the residues generated in the combustion of coal. It is an industrial byproduct recovered from the flue gas of coal burning electric power plants. Depending upon the source and makeup of the coal being burned, the components of the fly ash produced vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2) (both amorphous and crystalline) and lime (calcium oxide, CaO). In general, fly ash consists of SiO2, Al2O3, and Fe2O3 as major constituents and oxides of Mg, Ca, Na, K etc. as minor constituent. Fly ash particles are mostly spherical in shape and range from less than 1m to 100m with a specific surface area, typically between 250 and 600m 2/kg. The specific gravity of fly ash vary in the range of 0.6-2.8gm/cc. Coal fly ash has many uses including as a cement additive, in masonry blocks, as a concrete admixture, as a material in lightweight alloys, as a concrete aggregate, in flowable fill materials, in roadway/runway construction, in structural fill materials, as roofing granules, and in grouting. The largest application of fly ash is in the cement and concrete industry, though, creative new uses for fly ash are being actively sought like use of fly ash for the fabrication of MMCs.

Fly ash

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites

Properties of fly ash Parameters

Specific Gravity (gm/cc) Plasticity Maximum dry density (gm/cc) Optimum moisture content (%) Angle of inertia friction Cohesion(kg/cm) Compression Index Permeability(cm/sec) Particle size distribution Clay size fraction (%) Silt size fraction (%) Sand size fraction (%) Gravel size fraction (%) Coefficient of uniformity Properties of fly ash 1-10 8-85 7-90 0-10 3.1-10.7 1.90-2.55 Non Plastic



30-40 Negligible 0.05-0.4 105-103

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites


Cenosphere have low density and low thermal conductivity. The bulk density, around one-quarter of that fly ash, varies from 250 to 250 kg/m3 with an apparent density of individual particles in the range of 400-600 kg/m3. The thermal conductivity of the lightly tamped material measured 0.10w/mK, determined at a mean temperature of 500C (cold face 10oC, hot face 90oC). Cenosphere have a shell thickness of about 10% of their radius. The mean diameter is 100m, the range of the diameter being 5% (by weight) below 50m and 20% above 125m. They are at the coarser end of the precipitator fly ash grading. The initial sintering temperature is 1200oC i.e. 100-200oC higher than fly ash. However, unlike fly ash, sintering is accompanied by shrinkage and the spheres collapse at temperature above 1300oC. Element Silicon(as SiO2) Aluminum(as Al203) Iron (as Fe203) Calcium(CaO) Magnesium(as MgO) Alkalis(as Na20, K2O) Carbon(LOI- normally) Percentage 55 - 61 27 - 22 4.2 - 9.5 0.2 - 0.6 1.0 - 2.1 0.5 - 4.6 0.01 - 2.0

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites

The problem is associated with the study of Wear behavior of Aluminium alloy of grade 7075 with addition of varying percentage composition of fly ash cenospheres by stir casting technique. For the achievement of the above, an experimental set up was prepared to facilitate the preparation of required MMCs. The aim of the experiment was to study the effect of variation of the percentage composition on wear rate as well as to measure the hardness. The experiment was carried out by preparing the samples of different percentage composition by stir casting technique and then subjected to computerized Pin on disc wear testing machine under dry sliding condition and Brinell Hardness Tester. A brief analysis of microstructure had been conducted by Optical Microscope.

1. To study the effect of different weight percentage of reinforcement on wear rate and micro structure of metal matrix composites. 2. To analyze the microstructure. The tests performed on different types of specimens are as follows: Wear Test (Pin on Disc Machine) Hardness Test (Brinell Hardness Test) The Microstructure Test (Microscope)

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites

Pin on Disc for Wear Testing
For the experiment, the pin-on-disc wear test system was developed and used. The pin on disk system consisted of a pin positioned perpendicular to a flat circular disk with the abrasive surface made up of mild steel. The pin specimen revolves about the disk with the sliding path a circle on the disk surface. The plane of the disk is horizontal. The pin is pressed against the disk at a specified load by means of an arm and attached weights. Immediately prior to testing and measuring, cleaning and drying of all pins were required. Care was taken to remove all foreign particles from pins. More information on pin-on-disc systems and tests are available in wear publications and patents .The wear test was carried out at a constant sliding velocity of 100 rpm for a track radius of 40 mm, in increments of load 0.5 till 2kg for duration of 20 minutes. And for the next set of values, for sliding velocities 150, 200, 250, 300rpm were performed for duration of 20 for loads 0.5, 1, 1.5 & 2 respectively.

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites

The amount of wear was determined by weighing all pins before and after the test. In the experiment Aluminium7075 reinforced with 0%, 2%, 4% & 8% wt. of cenospheres were used for the pins.

Hardness Test
A Brinell hardness test was conducted on the specimen using a standard Brinell hardness tester. A load of 500 kg was applied on the specimen for 30sec using a 10 mm ball indenter and the indentation diameter was measured using a micrometer microscope. The Brinell hardness number (BHN) was computed using the formula.

Where, P is the load applied, D is diameter of the ball indenter and d is diameter of indentation.

Optical Microscope Image of the Specimens

Figure (a): Al-7075, 0% cenospheres

Figure (b): Al-7075, 2% cenospheres

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites


Figure (c): Al-7075, 4% cenospheres

Figure (d): Al-7075, 6% cenospheres

Figure (e): Al-7075, 8% cenospheres It is seen from the microphotography that there is a uniform distribution of cenospheres in the matrix as stated earlier, a uniform vortex speed of 250 rpm was maintained and the

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites


stirring duration was ten minutes. The microstructure does not show any micrporosities or defects in the structure

Results and discussions

Constant Speed 100rpm

0.008 0.007 0.006 Wt. Loss in gms 0.005 0.004 0.003 0.002 0.001 0 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% Reinforcement % 0.5 kg 1 kg 1.5 kg 2 kg

(a)Variation of Weight Loss (constant speed) graph Figure shows wear curves of MMCs specimen with 0%, 2%, 4%, 6% & 8% fly ash with normal load of 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2kg at a constant speed of 100 rpm.

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites


0.025 0.020 0.015 0.010 0.005 0.000 0 0% 2% 4% 0.5 6%

Varialable Speeds

Weight loss in gms

1 8% Load (kg)



(b)Variation of Weight Loss (variable speed) graph Figure shows wear curves of MMCs specimen with 0%, 2%, 4%, 6% & 8% fly ash with normal load of 0.5, 1, 1.5 & 2kg for speeds 150, 200, 250 & 300 rpm respectively. It is seen from the graphs (a) & (b) that as the content of the cenosphere increases, the weight loss shows a downward trend thereby proving that the composite possesses superior wear resistance. This is attributed to the fact that the cenospheres have a large percentage of unburnt carbon in them thereby leading to a decrease in weight loss with increasing content of cenospheres.

Variation of Hardness in Brinell hardness Test

The Brinell hardness test results of cast Al 7075 base matrix and their composites containing fly ash cenospheres (0, 2, 4, 6, 8 vol.%). From the hardness test results (Table 5.3), it can be observed that the hardness of the composite is marginally greater than that of the base matrix Al 7075 alloy. The composites containing higher volume fraction of cenosphere exhibits higher hardness value of 55 when compared to the base matrix.

Evaluation of abrasive wear characteristics of Aluminum 7075-Cenosphere composites


60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0% 2% 4% % Reinfocement 6% 8% BHN

It is seen from the graph that there is uniform increase in hardness. This is due to the fact that cenosphere contains unburnt carbon and hence there is an increase in hardness.

The following are the conclusions derived from the current research work It is seen from the microstructure studies that there is a uniform distribution of cenospheres in the matrix. Pin on disc wear studies have shown that there is an increase in the wear resistance of the samples with an increasing content in the cenospheres. The hardness studies also confirm the same, with an increasing content of cenospheres there is a uniform increase in the hardness. The developed material therefore suggests that this material could be used as a replacement for conventional materials used in the automobile sector.