Additive manufacturing enabled synergetic strengthening of bimodal reinforcing particles for aluminum matrix composites

Siming Ma, Zhongxia Shang, Anyu Shang, Peter Zhang, Chenglu Tang, Yuze Huang, Chu Lun Alex Leung, Peter D. Lee, Xinghang Zhang, Xiaoming Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


An additive manufactured TiB2/Al-Cu-Mg-Ni composite with a minor amount of Sc was fabricated by laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). The composite shows a yield strength of ~370 MPa, almost doubling the strength of its wrought matrix counterpart, and an elongation of ~7%. The superior mechanical properties are attributed to a unique micro-nano hierarchical microstructure, consisting of nanoscale and microscale TiB2 particles dispersed in a matrix of fine aluminum grains (3 µm) together with intragranular intermetallic nanoparticles and nano-cellular networks (cell size 30 nm). The formation of the TiB2 nanoparticles is the consequence of partial dissolution of the TiB2 particulates and the enrichment of Sc in the newly formed nanoparticles. Remarkable strengthening effects are achieved by the bimodal TiB2 particles, intermetallic nanoparticles and intragranular nano-cellular networks. This study provides new insights into the role of additive manufacturing in tailoring the microstructure of particulate reinforced metal matrix composites (MMCs) with advanced properties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103543
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Early online date6 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge Chven Mitchell who assisted/acquired the image of Figs. 2 (d) and 2 (e) for this paper on a Zeiss Xradia 510 Versa 3D X-ray Microscope that was supported by the EVPRP Major Multi-User Equipment Program 2017 at Purdue University. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. SM acknowledges the Graduate School of Purdue University for granting a Ross Fellowship and a Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship for his graduate study. XW acknowledges the Purdue Research Foundation for a Trask Award for the work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Al-Sc
  • Al2618
  • Metal matrix composite
  • TiB/Al

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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