Optimization of the Gas Pressure Infiltration process for Aluminium Matrix Composites manufacturing
Tutor / director / evaluatorGraziano, Ubertalli
CovenanteePolitecnico di Torino
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
In this project, the Gas Pressure Infiltration method for the manufacture of continuous carbon fibre-reinforced Aluminium Matrix Composites has been studied. The work done has focused on the understanding of the process parameters that influence the presently relatively low mechanical properties and their variability in the composites produced. The focus has been put on the density-specific stiffness and strength, which are two of the most important requirements for aerospace application, in order to introduce modifications in the procedures that enhance these results and increase the robustness of the process. To do so, a standard has been defined, as well as a characterization procedure for the materials, and a first set reference samples has been obtained. Then, after identifying the main problems from the analysis of the results, variations in the process have been introduced, such as matrix alloy modification, different fibre content and pressure of the infiltration. The mechanical properties and other observations of the composites produced under these different conditions have been then compared to the reference results. Promising results have been obtained in terms of strength and stiffness from the introduction of Si in the Al alloy and the increase of the volume content of fibres, and further modifications have been proposed. To gain deeper insight o the internal processes that take place in the equipment, a Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation model of the production process has been developed using Fluent. In this project, this model opened insight in the fluid metal flow through the fibres, but more importantly, it will be the base for the development of more complex models which will support the experimental improvement work in the future.