Acoustic emission from particulate-reinforced metal matrix composites

P. M. Mummery, B. Derby, C. B. Scruby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A systematic study of the effect of microstructural parameters on the fracture behaviour of silicon carbide particle reinforced aluminium matrix composites has been carried out. Acoustic emissions have been monitored during tensile testing, giving the size and number of emmissions as a function of strain. This has been shown to be simply related to the rate of void nucleation at the reinforcing phase. Both particle fracture and particle/matrix decohesion mechanisms can be detected. Void nucleation was observed from the onset of plastic deformation and a linear relationship between damage initiation rate and strain was found. The rate of emission increased with reiforcing particle size and volume fraction but was independent of matrix alloy composition and heat treatment. These results show that the failure strain of particulate metal matrix composites is not controlled solely by the onset of void nucleation at the reinforcing phase. Local failure processes in the matrix are shown to promote void coalescence and dominate the ductility. However, suppression of void nucleation at the particles increases the ductility. It is suggested that a critical number of fractured particles is required before failure. © 1993.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1431-1445
    Number of pages14
    JournalActa Metallurgica (Online)
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 1993


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