Two-Body Abrasive Wear Behaviour of In-Situ Al-TiC Particle Composites: Influence of TiC Reinforcement and Content in the Alloy Matrix and Experimental Parameters
This study pertains to observations made on the abrasive wear response of Al-TiC composites under varying applied load and traversal distance conditions. The influence of TiC particle reinforcement and its content in the matrix on the abrasion characteristics of the samples was investigated. The composites were prepared by generating the reinforcement phase (TiC particles) from within the matrix employing a hybrid in-situ technique consisting of a combination of steps involved in powder and liquid metallurgy routes of synthesizing metal matrix composites. The unreinforced matrix alloy (AA2014) was also tested under identical experimental conditions for comparison purposes. Properties characterized were wear rate, frictional heating and friction coefficient. Microstructural features of the samples and characteristics of wear surfaces, subsurface regions and abrasive medium have also been examined.
The TiC reinforcement led to improved abrasion resistance (inverse of wear rate), the degree of improvement increasing further with the rising concentration of the TiC particles in the alloy matrix. Increasing applied load led to deterioration in the wear behaviour of the samples while a reverse trend was followed as the traversal distance was raised. The severity of frictional heating was noted to increase with load. On the contrary, friction coefficient tended to decrease with increasing load except for the composite containing the highest concentration of TiC wherein a reverse trend was noticed. Both frictional heating and friction coefficient increased sharply with traversal distance initially. This was followed by a reduction in the rate of temperature increase at longer traversal distances whereas friction coefficient was observed to attain steady state condition after showing a decrease in some cases. The presence of TiC reinforcement in the alloy matrix and its increasing content led to a decrease in the friction coefficient and the severity of frictional heating. The observed wear behaviour has been substantiated through the characteristics of abraded surfaces and subsurface regions of the samples and degradation of the abrasive medium. Operating material removal mechanisms have also been examined.