Metal Matrix Composite (MMC)

Aluminum alloys reinforced with near nano-scale aluminum oxide particles for high performance powertrain applications

Lead Researcher: Jordan Kozakevich

Aluminum based metal matrix composites (Al-MMC) is of growing demand in the transportation industry. As fuel economy restrictions tighten around the world and demand for lighter, stronger, and more efficient alloys grows. Industry leaders, such as Eck Industries, utilize the customizable characteristics of near nano-scale reinforcements to drastically improve the mechanical properties of commonly used aluminum alloys such as A356 and A319.

However, traditional ways of manufacturing Al-MMC present issues of low wettability of the reinforcement additions, elevated levels of porosity, and industry scalability. Therefore, HPPM’s Al-MMC research department works in collaboration with Eck Industries to develop a casting system for near nano-scale aluminum oxide reinforced A356 and A319. The process involves developing conventionally sintered master alloy that reduces the surface energy of the reinforcement on a systems level. Incorporating the master alloy into conventional gravity casting techniques improves the wettability of the aluminum oxide reinforcement particles to create high-quality casted Al-MMCs.

Utilizing near nanoscale aluminum oxide reinforcement particles elevates A356 and A319 with their superior strength-to-weight ratio, advanced tribology characteristics, high thermal conductivity, and elevated high temperature mechanical properties. The goal for HPPM and Eck Industries is to expand the capabilities of these alloys by improving their high temperature properties for increased efficiency in high performance powertrain applications. 


J. Kozakevich*, D. Sediako, “Development of Next Generation Metal Matrix Composite Powertrain Alloys via Green Compaction and Conventional Sintering”, Materials Science and Engineering A, in preparation