In this book chapter, aluminum (Al)-based metal matrix composites (AMMCs) with various reinforcing ceramic particles, such as SiC, Si3N4, and Al2O3, were produced by microwave sintering and subsequent hot extrusion processes. The role of various nano/micro-sized reinforcements in altering the structural, mechanical, and thermal properties of the microwave-extruded composites was systematically studied. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns indicated that the main components were Al, SiC, Si3N4, and Al2O3 for the studied Al-SiC, Al-Si3N4, and Al-Al2O3 composites, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) elemental mapping confirm the homogeneous distribution of reinforcing particles in the Al matrix. Mechanistic studies revealed that the Al-Si3N4 metal matrix composite exhibited superior hardness, ultimate compression/tensile strength, and Young’s modulus, while having a lower coefficient of thermal expansion compared to other studied Al composites. Findings presented are expected to pave the way to design, develop, and synthesize other aluminum-based metal matrix composites for automotive and industrial applications.
Part of the book: Sintering of Functional Materials