Development of Pore-Free Ti-Si-C MAX/Al-Si Composite Materials Manufactured by Squeeze Casting Infiltration


Open-porous MAX phase skeletons from Ti3SiC2 were manufactured by Microwave-Assisted Self-propagating High-temperature Synthesis (MASHS) and subsequently subjected to squeeze casting infiltration with an Al-Si lightweight casting alloy (EN AC-44200). This alloy was chosen due to its high flowability, corrosion resistance and good machinability. The manufactured composites, together with a reference sample of the original alloy, underwent testing of thermal properties, including thermal conductivity and diffusivity, specific heat and thermal expansion in the temperature range 50-500 °C, which corresponds to the expected working temperatures of the material. The fabricated AlSi/Ti3SiC2 composites have significantly increased thermal stability, with coefficients of thermal expansion (approximately 10-11 × 10−6 °C−1) half that of the original alloy. As regards mechanical properties, the instrumental Young’s modulus and Vickers hardness of the composite materials are 170.8 and 8.5 GPa, respectively. Moreover, the microstructure and phase composition, structural defects and potential impacts between constituents of the manufactured composites were characterized using SEM, TEM and STEM microscopy and EDS and XRD analysis.
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