Al-Cr-Fe quasicrystals and their applications as reinforcements in the Ti based metal matrix composites
Date of Issue2015
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
In this study, the microstructural evolution and phase transformations of gas atomized Al-Cr-Fe powders during annealing process, spark plasma sintering (SPS) of Al-Cr-Fe powders and SPS of Ti/Al-Cr-Fe metal matrix composites (MMCs) were investigated. There are four phases identified in the annealed Al-Cr-Fe powders: icosahedral Al-Cr-Fe, decagonal Al-Cr-Fe, Al9(Cr,Fe)4 and Al8(Cr,Fe)5, with decagonal Al-Cr-Fe forming in the annealing process. Icosahedral Al-Cr-Fe is face-centered. Decagonal Al-Cr-Fe has a periodicity of about 1.2 nm along its periodic axis and it can be well superimposed by Penrose tilings. Al-Cr-Fe powders have been successfully sintered using SPS. With the rise of the sintering temperature from 650 ˚C to 800 ˚C, the relative density of the pellets increases from 70% to 99% and their microhardness increases from Hv 400 to Hv 810. The dominant densification mechanism of Al-Cr-Fe powders in the SPS process is powder rearrangement and dislocation motion. The SPS process promotes the formation of decagonal Al-Cr-Fe. Ti/Al-Cr-Fe MMCs with Ti as matrix and Al-Cr-Fe quasicrystals as reinforcements have been successfully prepared using high pressure SPS. Interfacial layer forms between Ti and Al-Cr-Fe during the sintering process. This layer mainly consists of Al3Ti and AlTi. With the increase of sintering pressure from 50 MPa to 300 MPa, the compositional changes of Al-Cr-Fe are reduced. The addition of Al-Cr-Fe particles to Ti matrix significantly improves the hardness and reduces the wear rate. This study shows for the first time that Al-Cr-Fe quasicrystals can be sintered using SPS and SPS process can promote the formation of decagonal Al-Cr-Fe and the increased sintering pressure leads to reduced compositional changes of Al-Cr-Fe reinforcements in the Ti based MMCs prepared using SPS.