Fabrication of metal matrix composites of

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Fine fibrous titanium carbide (TiC) was processed through the self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) method and employed to fabricate aluminum matrix composites. Two consol-idation methods were investigated: (1) combustion synthesis of TiC fiber/Al composites directly using titanium powders and carbon fibers ignited simultaneously with varying amounts of the matrix metal powder and (2) combustion synthesis of TiC using titanium powders and carbon fibers followed by consolidation into different amounts of the metal matrix powder, Al, via hot isostatic pressing (HIP). In the former method, when the amount of the Al in the matrix was increased, the maximum temperature obtained by the combustion reaction decreased and the propagation of the synthesis reactions became difficult to maintain. Preheating was required for the mixture of reactants with more than approximately 5 mole pct aluminum matrix powders in order to ignite and maintain the propagation rate. Microstructural analysis of the products from the Al/C/Ti reaction without preheating shows that small amounts of an aluminum carbide phase (AI4C3) are present. In the second method, following separation of the individual fibers in the TiC product, dense composites containing the SHS products were obtained by HIP of a mixture of the TiC fibers and Al powders. No ternary phase was formed during this procedure. © 1992 The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, and ASM International.

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Metallurgical Transactions A