Comparison of the Low-Velocity Impact Behaviors of Sic and Pumice Particle-Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

This study investigates the reinforcement effect of particle-reinforced metal matrix composites on the low-velocity impact behaviors. Ceramic SiC (Silicon Carbide) and Pumice (a volcanic lava rock) were used for the reinforcing particles. Finite Element Method (FEM) was used to model and perform the low-velocity impact analyses of SiC and pumice particle-reinforced aluminum 6061 matrix composites. Reinforcing particles were distributed randomly in metal matrix. The numerical impact tests were carried out for three different particle volume fractions (10, 20 and 30%) of reinforcements at the same particle size (250 μm) under 1 and 3 m/s impact velocities. The effects of the particle type on the impact behavior were explained by comparing the contact force histories, the residual stress and plastic strain distributions, and the transverse deflections, according to the particle volume fraction and the impact velocity. Generally, SiC particle-reinforced PRMMCs usually exhibit stiffer behavior when compared to pumice particle-reinforced PRMMCs. Particle reinforcements affect the equivalent residual stress and plastic strain distributions. SiC reinforcing particles make the metal matrix composite stiffer and reduces the transverse deflections whereas pumice reinforced metal matrix composites behave more ductile. When the volume fraction (Vf) is increased, the peak contact force increases whereas the impact time decreases. Index Terms—Finite element analysis, drop-weight test, low-velocity impact, particle-reinforced metal matrix composite.