Suppressing Aluminum Carbide in Welding Aluminum Silicon Carbide Composite

  • Mitul Kothari Stewart & Stevenson LLC
  • Wayne NP Hung Texas A&M University


Weldability of aluminum-based metal matrix composite A359/SiC/10p using gas tungsten arc welding and R356.0 filler material is investigated. The welding current, welding speed, and preheat temperature affect the weld quality significantly. Finite element analysis is successfully applied to map the weldment temperature during preheating and welding. During mechanical testing of welded specimens, a crack propagates in the parent composite or in the weld, but not in the stronger zone between the weld and the parent material. The weld region contains reasonably uniform distribution of SiC particles due to high viscosity of the molten weld and its fast cooling rate. Proper control of heat input and addition of silicon-rich filler material hinder the interface reaction between aluminum matrix and the reinforcing SiC particles, and successfully suppresses the formation of harmful aluminum carbide flakes in the weld. The average tensile and flexural strengths of optimally welded specimens approach those of the parent composite while its ductility exceeds that of the parent material.


[1] TWI. Joining of aluminium based metal matrix composites: Initial study (2014).

[2] Schwartz MM. Joining of Composite Matrix Materials, ASM International, Materials Park, OH, 1994; 89-90.

[3] Ellis MBD. Journal of Material Review (1996). 41: 41-58.

[4] Urena A, Gomez de Salazar JM, Gil L, Escalera MD, and Baldonedo JL. J Microscopy (1999). 196: 124-136.

[5] Urena A, Escalera MD, and Gil L. Influence of Interface Reactions on Fracture Mechanism in TIG Arc-Welded Aluminum Matrix Composites, J Composites Science and Technology (2000). 60: 613-622.

[6] Chen M, Wu C, and Gao J. (2002). Welding of SiC Particle Reinforced 6061 Al Matrix Composites with Pulsed TIG, Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China 12(5): 805-810.

[7] Gopinathan S, McCay MH, and McCay TD. (1993). Continuous Wave CO2 Laser Welding of SiC/A356 Al Metal Matrix Composites: An Analytical Estimate for Formation of Aluminum Carbide, J Processing of Advanced Materials 3:213-224.

[8] Mathers G. (1997). The Welding of Aluminum and Its Alloys, Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK; 2002.

[9] Park JK and Lucas JP (1997). Moisture Effect on SiCp/6061 Al MMC: Dissolution of Interfacial Al4C3, J Scipta Materialia 37(4) 511-516.

[10] Dahotre NB, McCay MH, McCay MD, Goinathan S, and Sharp CM. (1992). Laser Joining of Metal Matrix Composites, Proceedings of Machining of Composites Materials Symposium, ASME, Chicago, Illinois; 167-173.

[11] Dahotre NB, McCay TD, and McCay MH. (1994). Laser Induced Liquid Phase Reaction Synthesis Assisted Joining of MMCs, J Materials and Manufacturing Processes; 9(3): 447-466.

[12] Hung NP, Jana S, Yang LJ, and Heng CH. (1995). Laser Drilling of Cast Metal Matrix Composites, Proceedings, ASME, New York, AMD 208 MD 59; 87-92.

[13] Gomez de Salazar JM and Barrena MI. (2003). Dissimilar fusion welding of AA7020/MMC reinforced with Al2O3 particles. Microstructure and mechanical properties. J Materials Science & Engineering A; A352: 162-168.

[14] Wang HM, Chen YL, and Yu LG. (2000). In-situ weld-alloying: laser beam welding of SiCp /6061Al MMC. J Materials Science & Engineering A; A293: 1-6.

[15] Kannan P, Balamurugan K, and Thirunaavukkarasu K. (2012). Reducing the Particle Fracture in Dissimilar Friction Welds by Introducing Silver Interlayer. J Recent Technology and Engineering; 1:2, 159-160.

[16] Lee JA, Carter RW, and Ding J. (1999). Friction stir welding for aluminum metal matrix composites. NASA TM1999-209876 report.

[17] Prater T. (2014). Friction Stir Welding of Metal Matrix Composites for use in aerospace structures. J Acta Astronautica 93; 336-373.

[18] Zhou Y, Li Z, Hu L, Fuji A, and North TH. Mechanical Properties of Particulate MMC/AISI 304 Friction Joints; J Iron and Steel Institute of Japan; 1995; 35:10, 1315-1321.

[19] Bozkurt Y, Kentli A, Uzun H, and Salman S. (2012). Experimental investigation and prediction of mechanical properties of friction stir welded aluminum metal matrix composite plates; J Materials Science ISSN 1392-1320; 18 (4): 336-340.

[20] JayaramanM, Sivasubramanian R, Balasubramanian V. (2009). Effect of process parameters on tensile strength of friction stir welded cast LM6 aluminium alloy joints. J Material Science and Technology; 25:5, 655-664.

[21] Miller SF, Arul SG, Kruger GH, Pan TY, and Shih AJ. (2011). Effect of Localized Metal Matrix Composite Formation on Spot Friction Welding Joint Strength. J. Engineering Materials and Technology; 133: 031009 1-8.

[22] Huang J, Dong Y, Zhang J, Wan Y, and Zhou G. (2005). Reactive Diffusion Bonding of SiCp/Al Composites by Insert Powder Layers with Eutectic Composition. J. Material Science and Technology; 21:5, 779-781.

[23] Rosenberg RA, Goeppner GA, Noonan JR, Farrell WJ, and Ma Q. (1999). High power X-ray welding of metal-matrix composites. US patent 5994660.

[24] CASTI Metals Data Book Series. CASTI Metals Blue Book Welding Filler Metals (2002). ASM International, Materials Park, OH, 252.

[25] MC-21 Inc.(2014).

[26] Procast Technologies (2014).

[27] Beck Aluminum (2014).

[28] Pilkey WD. (1994). Formulas for stress, strain, and structural matrices; John Wiley & Sons Inc.