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Li and Langdon (1999b) suggested an alternative explanation for the

dependence of threshold stress on the reinforcement content as given by Pandey et

al (1992). Based on the scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observations on 10

vol% SiCp-2124 Al composite, it is reported that the reinforcing particles fracture

into fine SiC particles, with sizes smaller than 100 nm, as a result of thermo-

mechanical processing. These fine SiC particles, like oxide particles, partly account

for the origin of threshold stress. Moreover, it is reasonable to assume that high

volume fraction of reinforcement gives rise to a larger number of fine SiC particles.

Thus, the increase in threshold stress is expected with the increase in volume

fraction of the reinforcement.

Lin et al (2002) investigated the creep behavior of 5 vol% SiCp/2124Al

composite in double shear configuration in the temperature range between 618 K

and 678 K, and compared the results obtained with those noticed for unreinforced

2124Al, tested under similar experimental conditions. The study indicates that the

origin of anomalous stress dependence of the creep rate of the composite and the

unreinforced matrix alloy is due to the presence of threshold stress, τ 0 , which

strongly depends on temperature. An examination of the substructure of the creep

samples suggests that the most probable source of threshold stress in the composite

as well as 2124Al is related to the interaction between moving dislocations and

dispersed particles, which includes those formed during the processing of these

materials through powder metallurgy route. The creep behavior of the composite is

governed by the deformation of matrix.