Void formation in metal matrix composites by solidification and shrinkage of an AlSi7 matrix between densely packed particles


Particle reinforced metals are developed as heat sink materials for advanced thermal management applications. Metal matrix composites combine the high thermal conductivity of a metal with a low coefficient of thermal expansion of ceramic reinforcements. SiC and carbon diamond particle reinforced aluminum offer suitable thermal properties for heat sink applications. These composites are produced by liquid metal infiltration of a densely packed particle preform. Wettability, interface bonding strength and thermal mismatch are critical for void formation which leads to thermal fatigue damage under operation. The evolution of voids in AlSiC and AlCD has been studied by in-situ high resolution synchrotron tomography during matrix solidification. Large irregularly shaped matrix voids form during eutectic solidification. These voids help alleviate thermal expansion mismatch stresses by visco-plastic matrix deformation during cooling to RT after solidification, if sufficient interface bonding strength is assumed.
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