Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Engineering

First Advisor

Changsoo Kim

Committee Members

Junjie Niu, Woo Jin Chang

Abstract

ABSTRACT

REPRESENTATIVE VOLUME ELEMENT (RVE) FINITE-ELEMENT ANALYSIS

(FEA) OF AL METAL-MATRIX COMPOSITES

by

Yuzhe Cao

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2016

Under the Supervision of Professor Chang-Soo Kim

Metal matrix composites reinforced by particles (a.k.a particle reinforced metal matrix composites, PRMMCs) could be suitable for a large number of applications with their enhanced mechanical properties. These composites generally consist of a base metal filled with hard/strong particles of which physical and mechanical properties very different from those of the matrix. These particles are intended to improve the properties of the base material including wear resistance, damping properties, and mechanical strength. Aluminum (Al) and its alloys have attracted most attention as base metal in these metal matrix composites due to their light weight and inexpensive nature. As for the reinforcements, aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) is one of the most commonly used ceramic particles. This study is aimed at developing a finite-element analysis (FEA) computational model to predict the bulk mechanical behavior of Al2O3 particle reinforced Al-based metal matrix composites. In our work, the representative volume element (RVE) models of hierarchical composites have also been created to predict the stress-strain behavior of Mg-Al-Al2O3 hierarchical composites. RVE models have been developed to predict the mechanical properties of different PRMMCs assuming that ceramic particles are fractured during the plastic deformation of the whole composite.

From the results, it was found that the particle volume fraction plays a critical role determining various mechanical properties such as Young’s modulus. However, the developed RVE model showed that the particle size and the particle distributions have little effects on the mechanical properties of PRMMCs, which could be considered as the limitation of the current study. For the hierarchical composites, the numerical and experimental results were reasonably in a good agreement.

Available for download on Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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