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Vol. 2. Num. 1.
Pages 1-86 (January - March 2013)
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Vol. 2. Num. 1.
Pages 1-86 (January - March 2013)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmrt.2013.03.012
Open Access
Fabrication characteristics and mechanical behaviour of rice husk ash – Alumina reinforced Al-Mg-Si alloy matrix hybrid composites
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Keneth Kanayo Alanemea,
Corresponding author
kalanemek@yahoo.co.uk

Corresponding author.
, Idris B. Akintundea, Peter Apata Olubambib, Tolulope M. Adewalec
a Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
b Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
c School of Materials, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
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Article information
Abstract

The fabrication characteristics and mechanical behaviour of Al-Mg-Si alloy matrix composites reinforced with alumina (Al2O3) and rice husk ash (RHA, an agro-waste) was investigated. This was aimed at assessing the viability of developing high performance Al matrix composites at reduced cost. Al2O3 particulates added with 0, 2, 3, and 4 wt% RHA were utilized to prepare 10 wt% of the reinforcing phase with Al-Mg-Si alloy as matrix using two-step stir casting method. Density measurement, estimated percent porosity, tensile testing, micro-hardness measurement, optical microscopy, and SEM examination were used to characterize the composites produced. The results show that the less dense Al-Mg-Si/RHA/Al2O3 hybrid composites have estimated percent porosity levels as low as the single Al2O3 reinforced grade (< 2.3% porosity). The hardness of the hybrid composites decreases slightly with increase in RHA content with a maximum reduction of less than 11% observed for the Al-4 wt% RHA-6wt% Al2O3 composition (in comparison with the Al-10 wt% Al2O3 single reinforced composition). Tensile strength reductions of 8% and 13%, and specific strengths which were 3.56% and 7.7% lower were respectively observed for the 3 wt% and 4 wt% RHA containing hybrid composites. The specific strength, percent elongation and fracture toughness of the 2 wt% RHA containing hybrid composite was however, higher than that of the single Al2O3 reinforced and other hybrid composite compositions worked on. RHA thus has great promise to serve as a complementing reinforcement for the development of low cost-high performance aluminum hybrid composites.

Keywords:
Hybrid composites
Rice husk ash
Al-Mg-Si alloy
Stir casting
Mechanical properties
Microscopy
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Journal of Materials Research and Technology

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