Table of Contents
Journal of Metallurgy
Volume 2014, Article ID 248542, 10 pages
Research Article

Aluminium AA6061 Matrix Composite Reinforced with Spherical Alumina Particles Produced by Infiltration: Perspective on Aerospace Applications

1Constellium Innovation Cells, EPFL-Innovation Park, Bâtiment E, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
2JetSolutions SA, Route de Montena 89, 1728 Rossens, Switzerland

Received 24 August 2014; Accepted 6 November 2014; Published 30 November 2014

Academic Editor: Sunghak Lee

Copyright © 2014 Claudio Bacciarini and Vincent Mathier. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Metal matrix composites, based on AA6061 reinforced with 60 vol% spherical particles, were produced by gas pressure infiltration and characterized for hardness, impulse excitation modulus, tensile properties (at room temperature and at 250°C), and machining. It was experimentally demonstrated that the novel alumina powder used in the present work does not react with the liquid Mg-containing matrix during the infiltration process. The AA6061 matrix therefore retains its ability to be strengthened by precipitation heat treatment. The latter behaviour combined with the spherical particle shape confers the studied material higher strength and better machinability in comparison with similar composites produced using standard angular alumina particles. The overall features are promising for applications in the aerospace industry, where light and strong materials are required.