Advanced materials have offered the materials designer a wide range of options in the specification and selection of materials for various applications. Material properties are continually being improved to meet safety and operational standards in line with prevailing technological developments. Modern technological requirements, together with the consumers’ demands for systems and machines that are more energy efficient, stronger, light-weight, cost-effective, etc., dictate that the search for new and advanced materials will remain a subject of interest all the time. The difficulty in designing materials for such stringent specifications cannot be overstated, owing to the conflicting nature of these specifications. Aluminium metal matrix composites (AlMMCs) are a class of materials that have proven successful in meeting most of the rigorous specifications in applications where light-weight, high stiffness and moderate strength are the requisite properties. With a variety of reinforcement materials and flexibility in their primary processing, AlMMCs offer great potential for the development of composites with the desired properties for certain applications. In this review, the development, utilisation and future potential of AlMMCs in various industrial and commercial applications is discussed, together with the existing challenges hindering their full market penetration.
Part of the book: Aluminium Alloys and Composites