Composite materials handbook. Volume 4, Metal matrix composites

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Initial work in late s was stimulated by the high-performance needs of the aerospace industry.

In these development efforts, performance, not cost, was the primary driver. Boron filament, the first high-strength, high-modulus reinforcement, was developed both for metal- and organic- matrix composites. Because of the fiber-strength degradation and poor wettability in molten-aluminum alloys, the early carbon fibers could only be properly reinforced in organic-matrix composites.

Composite Materials Handbook Volume 4 - Revision B

Therefore, the development of MMCs was primarily directed toward diffusion-bonding processing. At the same time, optimum air stable surface coatings were developed for boron and graphite fibers to facilitate wetting and inhibit reaction with aluminum or magnesium alloys during processing. More specifically, the diffusion-bonding and casting methods have been used for continuous- fiber reinforced MMCs. Discontinuously reinforced MMCs have been produced by powder metallurgy and pressure-assist casting processes.

The Choice: Embrace the Possible

Generally, measured properties of as-fabricated MMCs are consistent with the analytically predicted properties of each composite. The primary advantage of MMCs over counterpart organic-matrix composites is the maximum operating temperature.


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Table I. Table II lists the properties of discontinuously reinforced aluminum DRA composites for spacecraft and commercial applications.

Composite Materials Handbook, 5 Volume Set: 57

DRA is an isotropic MMC with specific mechanical properties superior to conventional aerospace materials. For example, DWA Aluminum Composites has produced MMCs using and matrix alloys for the best combination of strength, ductility, and fracture toughness, and matrix alloy to obtain high thermal conductivity.

Table II. This boom 3.

Metal Matrix Composite Bearing Liner Installation for Rotorcraft Drive Systems

While the part currently in service is continuously reinforced with graphite fibers, replacement structures produced with less expensive DRA have been certified. In technology-development programs sponsored by the U. Potential applications included joints and attachment fittings for truss structures, longerons, electronic packages, thermal planes, mechanism housings, and bushings. Because of their combination of high thermal conductivity, tailorable CTE to match the CTE of electronic materials such as gallium arsenide or alumina , and low density, DRA composites are especially advantageous for electronic packaging and thermal-management applications.

These components are not only significantly lighter than those produced from previous metal alloys, but they provide significant cost savings through net-shape manufacturing. CMH provides information and guidance necessary to design and fabricate end items from composite materials.

It includes properties of composite materials that meet specific data requirements as well as guidelines for design, analysis, material selection, manufacturing, quality control, and repair. The primary purpose of the handbook is to standardize engineering methodologies related to testing, data reduction, and reporting of property data for current and emerging composite materials. It is used by engineers worldwide in designing and fabricating products made from composite materials.

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