Investigation on in-situ formed Al3V-Al-VC nano composite through conventional, microwave and spark plasma sintering
In the present study, the effect of heating methods has been studied on the microstructure and mechanical properties of in-situ formed Al3V-Al-VC nano-composite. 5 and 15 wt % of VC were added to Al matrix and conventional and microwave sintering processes were performed at 600 °C. While spark plasma sintering process was done at 450 °C with initial and final pressure of 10 and 30 MPa, respectively. The XRD results revealed the formation of Al3V intermetallic compound in microwave sintered sample, while in both spark plasma sintered and conventionally prepared specimens, the only crystalline phases were Al and VC. Microstructure studies, demonstrated a uniform distribution of 5wt% VC reinforcement in Al matrix but the 15wt%VC addition led to form agglomerates in all prepared samples. The highest bending strength (275 ± 13 MPa) and hardness (260 ± 13 Vickers) were obtained in the spark plasma sintered sample with 15wt% of VC content.