Strengthening of the ASTM-356 alloy with silicon carbide particles

Jaime Hinojosa-Torres, Diego Sánchez-García, Andrés Herrera-Vázquez, Jose Luis Velázquez-Ortega


Extensive research has been done in recent years in composites of metallic matrix in order to get better melting practices, mechanical properties and structure. In this work, steel metal mould was previously preheated to three different temperatures. The ASTM-356 alloy was melted and heated to 993 K. For the purpose of reinforcing, silicon carbide particles (mesh: 325, 400) were introduced into the melted alloy then stirred. For each obtained solid its solidification time was recorded. Cylindrical specimens were tested in a tension test machine in order to obtain the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and fracture toughness (KIc) values. Hardness measurements were carried out in the sections of the specimens. Metallurgical structure was observed with the aid of the optical microscope. Finally, it was found that the presence of SiC in the melted alloy alters the shape of the cooling curve. In general, the composite of ASTM-356 with SiC inclusions shows an improvement of the mechanical properties as hardness and tensile strength when the cooling rates are high.

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