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M. Potoczek and R. Śliwa

Microstructure and Physical Properties of AlMg/Al2O3 Interpenetrating Composites Fabricated by Metal Infiltration into Ceramic Foams

This work presents aluminium alloy-alumina (AlMg5/Al2O3) composites, where both phases are interpenetrating through-out the microstructure. Ceramic preforms for metal infiltration were produced by a new method of manufacturing of porous ceramics known as gelcasting of foams. Porous ceramics fabricated by this method is characterized by a continuous network of spherical cells interconnected by circular windows. Alumina (Al2O3) preforms used for infiltration process, were characterized by 90% porosity. The median diameter of spherical cell was 500 μm, while the median diameter of windows was 110 μm.

A direct pressure infiltration process was used to infiltrate the preforms with an AlMg5 alloy resulting in an interpenetrating microstructure. Due to the open cell structure of the Al2O3 foams, macropores in alumina preform were completely filled by metal. Microstructural characterization of the composites revealed a special topology of skeleton and good integrity of metal/ceramic interface. The density of AlMg5/Al2O3 composites was 2.71 g/cm3, while the porosity was less than 1%.

Open access

M. Nowak, Z. Nowak, R.B. Pęcherski, M. Potoczek and R.E. Śliwa


In the present paper a finite element model was used to investigate the mechanical properties such as Young’s modulus of open-cell ceramic foam. Finite element discretization was derived from real foam specimen by computer tomography images. The generated 3D geometry of the ceramic foam was used to simulate deformation process under compression. The own numerical procedure was developed to control finite element mesh density by changing the element size. Several numerical simulations of compression test have been carried out using commercial finite element code ABAQUS. The size of the ceramic specimen and the density of finite element mesh were examined. The influence of type and size of finite element on the value of Young’s modulus was studied, as well. The obtained numerical results have been compared with the results of experimental investigations carried out by Ortega [11]. It is shown that numerical results are in close agreement with experiment. It appears also that the dependency of Young’s modulus of ceramic foam on density of finite element mesh cannot be ignored.

Open access

Z. Nowak, M. Nowak, R.B. Pęcherski, M. Potoczek and R.E. Śliwa


The mechanical properties and numerical model of ceramic alumina open-cell foam, which is produced by the chemical method of gelcasting with different cell sizes (porosities) are presented. Geometric characteristics of real foam samples were estimated from tomographic and scanning electron microscopy images. Using this information, numerical foam model was proposed. A good agreement between the numerical model and the results elaborated from microtomography was obtained. To simulate the deformation processes the finite element program ABAQUS was used. The main goal of this computation was to obtain macroscopic force as a function of applied vertical displacement in compression test.

As a result of numerical simulation of compression test of alumina foam for different values of porosity, the Young modulus and the strength of such foams were estimated.

Open access

J. Ligoda-Chmiel, M. Potoczek and R. E. Śliwa

Methods of measuring effective material properties, including Young’s, Kirchoff’s modulus or Poisson’s ratio for composites with an interpenetrating network structure, where the both constituent phases have widely different physical properties, do not lead to an unambiguous interpretation. The commonly- known static methods have the basic disadvantage that higher strain values are needed in order to obtain proper results which is generally impossible to achieve in the case of brittle materials, e. g. ceramics or polymers, as well as for composites created by connecting both these components. The measurement of strain values during the stress test, decreases the values of Young’s modulus from several per cent to several dozen per cent, due to appearance of micro fractures in the brittle materials. If there are differences in the values, then a special form and an appropriate amount of samples are needed. Dynamic methods of predicting an effective material properties (ultrasonic and impulse excitation of vibration techniques) are much more accurate, and their non- destructive nature mean that the samples can be used again in other experiments.

This paper uses the traditional compression test and ultrasonic and impulse excitation of vibration methods to compare and analyze the experimental material properties, such as Young’s modulus, Kirchoff’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio using alumina foam/tri-functional epoxy resin composites with an interpenetrating network structure.