Frictional Behavior of Aluminium MMC Foam Synthesized Using Dual Foaming Agent

Frictional Behavior of Aluminium MMC Foam Synthesized Using Dual Foaming Agent

Shamim Haidar (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aliah University, Kolkata, India), Mukandar Sekh (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aliah University, Kolkata, India), Joyjeet Ghose (Department of Production Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, India) and Goutam Sutradhar (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEIMS.2017070102
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In the present article, an attempt is made to develop aluminium foam indigenously. The experimental setup for the production of aluminium foam is designed and fabricated. Investigation are made into the use of dual foaming agents (i.e. TiH2 and CaCO3) along with SiC to develop suitable aluminium foams which can be utilized for various engineering products like load-bearing elements, crash resistance elements etc. The process is standardized to produce aluminium foam with specific density with minimum variability. This aluminium foam produced possesses a very low coefficient of friction. This work successfully characterized the frictional properties of the developed material. In order to define the Frictional properties of this material, a mathematical model which uniquely defines the frictional behavior of this modified Al-MMC foam has been developed.
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Synthesis Of Al-Mmc Foam

The material under investigation is closed cell aluminium foam, manufactured through Stir-Casting route in the laboratory, using aluminium alloy (LM6: consisting of 0.1% Cu, 0.1% Mg, 0.13% Si, 0.6% Fe, 0.5% Mn, and trace amount of Zn, Pb, Sn and rest Al). The achieved high viscosity, due to addition of SiC in the melt, allows liquid Aluminium to be stable at a temperature of TiH2-decomposition (465°C) (Sutradhar, 2015; Haidar & Ansary, 2016).

2 - 3% foaming agent (Titanium Hydride) is added to the mold. TiH2 begins to decompose into Ti and gaseous H2 when heated above about 465°C. Thus, large volumes of hydrogen gas are rapidly produced, creating bubbles that leads to a closed cell foam. It is necessary to stir the mold with constant speed for good foaming with homogeneous arrangement of cells.

A major hindrance of production of this future material is the current cost of production. The current work provides a means to produce aluminium foam of acceptable properties with less use of metal hydrides (Haidar, Mandal, & Sutradhar, 2015). The cost of the material is reduced by addition of a secondary blowing agent i.e. CaCO3, which reduced the requirements of costly metal hydrides. Thus, instead of adding 2% - 3% TiH2, a dual foaming agent, 2% - 5% CaCO3 and 0.5% – 1.0% TiH2 are added separately which produces even better result.

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