Aluminum Alloy: Nano Alumina Metal Matrix Composites Produced in an Innovative Way

A. Sommer, B. Harrigan, M. Curreli
Gamma Technology LLC,
United States

Keywords: ALMMC, nano alumina, colloidal suspension


Use of a proprietary process, patent applied for, enables us to implant individual nano alumina spheres into alminum alloy matrices via conventional powder metallurgy processing. No ball milling or other attrition process is required to implant these nano particles. Implantation occurs at room temperature employing colloid chemistry. This allows for easy and inexpensive scaleup of composite fabrication. At this time we are producing 200 lb. lots of such materials. Fabricated in 1,000,000 lb quantities the price per pound is projected to be $10/lb to $ 20lb in conventional bar, sheet and plate form. In this presentation, we will report on the tensile mechanical behavior of two Al alloy matrices containing as much as 10 volume percent 50 nm and 100 nm alumina spheres produced via our propietary process. The alloy matrices chosen were 6063 Al and 1100 Al. In all cases the composites were annealed at 500 degrees C for 1 hour and furnaced cooled before testing. The purpose of the pre test anneal was to remove all vestiges of cold work so that we could simply measure the impact of the nano particles on the tensile strength and the ductiliy of of our composites between room temperature and 375 degrees C. Our results will show that 10 volume % nano particles improve the room temperature tensile yield strengh by a factor of 2.7 over ingot cast material while tensile ductility reports at 10%. Similar improvements in elevated tensile properties will be shown as well. We shall also present metallographic and fractographic data to demomstrate the uniformity of our nano particle distributions.