Selection of materials with the expected, application-dependent characteristics constitutes a very important point in any industrial application. In the automotive and aeronautical industries, the current tendency is to use light metals and their alloys for production of various components. For example, some of the problems related to fuel consumption and weight reduction could be partially solved by using such alloys as an alternative to traditional iron-based alloy components. Due to their very attractive properties, the most commonly employed light materials for producing high-stressed components are aluminium, magnesium and their alloys. Al-based alloys have a high strength/weight ratio, good formability, excellent combination of castability and mechanical properties which together with an excellent corrosion resistance make them very appropriate for a large variety of applications. There are two important families of aluminium alloys: (i) wrought alloys, firstly cast as ingots and/or billets and then mechanically hot- and/or cold-worked into the preferred shape, and (ii) cast alloys, directly cast into their final form through different traditional or innovative processes.
Part of the book: New Trends in Alloy Development, Characterization and Application
Among other materials, hard metals represent an important family of functional materials. They show properties that are combinations of those of their constituents. The general idea while using hard metals is to exploit their excellent properties in terms of hardness, toughness, wear resistance, and chemical stability. These characteristics made hard metals as promising candidate for use as a cutting tool, which constitutes their main area of application. Depending on the particular use, the most important properties can be achieved: (i) by properly selecting the constituents made up the whole composition, (ii) by varying the relative composition of the phases, or (iii) by applying a suitable hard metal coating layer on the top of the cutting tool. This chapter presents a general overview of the actual scenario concerning different tool materials, including a short history and description of state‐of‐the‐art techniques as regards their composition, their manufacturing routes and their most important properties. Some results of the own research in this field are carried out during the years will integrate this part.
Part of the book: Powder Metallurgy
In all cases, when a material has to be used in medical applications, the knowledge of its physical, chemical and biological properties is of fundamental significance, since the direct contact between the biological system and the considered device could generate reactions whose long-term effects must be clearly quantified. The class of materials that exhibits characteristics that allow their use for the considered applications are commonly called biomaterials. Patients suffering from different diseases generate a great demand for real therapies, where the use of biomaterials are mandatory. Commonly, metallic biomaterials are used because their structural functions; the high strength and resistance to fracture they can offer, provide reliable performance primarily in the fields of orthopedics and dentistry. In metals, because of their particular structure, plastic deformation takes place easier, inducing good formability in manufacturing. The present paper is not encyclopaedic, but reports in the first part some current literature data and perspectives about the possibility of use different class of metallic materials for medical applications, while the second part recalls some results of the current research in this field carried out by the authors.
Part of the book: Biomaterials in Regenerative Medicine
Grain size is one of the most important characteristics that affect the processing and in turn the properties of alloys. Grain refinement determines many advantages in light alloy casting: it can be achieved using different methods, based on the available technological possibilities and on the performances that one has to obtain. By using grain refinement, important benefits can be reached, for both cast and wrought aluminium alloys: among other, the most important enhancement regards the fine distribution of the second phases, improved castability, reduction of shrinkage porosity, higher mechanical properties, as well as superior fatigue life. The present chapter is not exhaustive on this argument; however, in the first part it reports some current literature data and some perspectives about the grain refinement, while in the second part which has been mostly carried out within a current PhD Thesis focalized on the improvement of the properties of Al-based alloys by physical grain refinement methods, some experimentally obtained results have been presented and discussed.
Part of the book: Aluminium Alloys