Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals

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Aluminum composites are of interest for engineering applications such as electrical and especially automotive applications and their final physical and mechanical properties are usually determined by fabrication techniques. This research aimed to study effects of process parameters, which are i) argon gas flow rates at 5 and 10 l/min, and ii) casting temperatures at 620 and 680C, on integrity of the SiCp-reinforced 356 aluminum composites fabricated by powder-injection casting using a modified flux injection degassing machine. The SiCp additions are 0, 10 and 15 wt.%. Microstructure - mechanical property relations were constructed based on the predetermined process parameters. Aluminum 356 alloy was melted at 700C and injected with pre-heat-treated SiCp at 590C. The injection was carried out via the argon gas for 15 minutes at a rotational speed of 1000 rpm using the modified SiCp injection degassing machine prior to pouring into cylindrical permanent molds for microstructure and mechanical property investigation. Experimental results showed that hydrogen degassing at 5 l/min of argon gas flow rate helped to produce good distribution of SiCp within the aluminum matrix and to decrease porosity in aluminum composites. Casting temperature at 680C in the liquid state was found to be a key factor in improving density and hardness properties.

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