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Development of aluminium components locally reinforced with composite inserts

Objective



European commercial industries need the development of lighter components with improved characteristics and easy recyclability for the next future, in order to develop more efficient products with reduced pollutant emmisions, at low cost. In this way, the industrial aim of the present project is to obtain low cost components with improved properties in the needed areas. In order to reach this goal, a suitable production process for the manufacturing of aluminium based components locally reinforced with inserts, in the zones where an improvement of some properties is required, will be developed. Different type of inserts (of various shapes and characteristics) will be used for this purpose. Among them, it is intended to use inserts made of commerdal discontinuous metal matrix composites (MMCs) formed by gravity casting, and porous prefomms made of low cost discontinuous reinforcements such as alumina short fibers, graphite particles or others. Some high productivity techniques have been previously selected: Low-pressure casting, Pressure diecasting and Gravity casting, which are traditionally and widely used for the manufacturing of several industrial components in commercial sectors, specially in the automotive one. The use of local reinforcements with the techniques selected will allow to manufacture components with improved properties in the required areas, at a low price in comparison with the same components fuily made of MMC. Moreover, the cost due to the machining will be markedly reduced since only localized small areas will be reinforced with inserts. These areas show better mechanical properties at high temperatures, and specially better wear behaviour, among other interesting advantages. The technology considered could also open up an important market of applications for aluminium alloys, since applications which are not presently feasible due to their iow mechanical or wear properties compared with steel or cast iron, could be produced with light aluminium alloys partially reinforced with inserts.
European commercial industries need the development of lighter components with improved characteristics and easy recyclability for the next future, in order to develop more efficient products with reduced pollutant emmisions, at low cost. In this way, the industrial aim of the present project is to obtain low cost components with improved properties in the needed areas. In order to reach this goal, a suitable production process for the manufacturing of aluminium based components locally reinforced with inserts, in the zones where an improvement of some properties is required, will be developed. Different type of inserts (of various shapes and characteristics) will be used for this purpose. Among them, it is intended to use inserts made of commerdal discontinuous metal matrix composites (MMCs) formed by gravity casting, and porous prefomms made of low cost discontinuous reinforcements such as alumina short fibers, graphite particles or others. Some high productivity techniques have been previously selected: Low-pressure casting, Pressure diecasting and Gravity casting, which are traditionally and widely used for the manufacturing of several industrial components in commercial sectors, specially in the automotive one. The use of local reinforcements with the techniques selected will allow to manufacture components with improved properties in the required areas, at a low price in comparison with the same components fuily made of MMC. Moreover, the cost due to the machining will be markedly reduced since only localized small areas will be reinforced with inserts. These areas show better mechanical properties at high temperatures, and specially better wear behaviour, among other interesting advantages. The technology considered could also open up an important market of applications for aluminium alloys, since applications which are not presently feasible due to their iow mechanical or wear properties compared with steel or cast iron, could be produced with light aluminium alloys partially reinforced with inserts.

Coordinator

Manufacturas Aluminio Pamplona - Sector Automación
Address
11,Carretera De Echauri 11
31160 Orcoyen
Spain