Investigation of the clustering behaviour of titanium diboride particles in aluminium

I.G. Watson, M.F. Forster, P.D. Lee, R.J. Dashwood, R.W. Hamilton, A. Chirazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The clustering of reinforcement particles in cast metal matrix composite (MMC) material has a number of deleterious effects on its mechanical properties and castability. In order to better understand this phenomenon, the clustering behaviour of TiB2 particles in molten commercial purity aluminium was investigated. A novel method of sampling the melt was developed in order to investigate the clustering behaviour as a function of holding time at 700 °C. The initially clustered distribution of TiB2 became increasingly dispersed with increased holding time. The maximum observed cluster size decreased from 50 to 10 μm after a holding period of 73 h. X-ray microtomography (XMT) and SEM micrograph analyses were carried out to quantify the rate of dispersion of the clusters. XMT was shown to be a powerful tool for visualizing and quantifying 3-dimensional features within the MMC microstructure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1187
Number of pages11
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Issue number9
Early online date31 Mar 2005
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Metal-matrix composites CMMCs
  • Particle-reinforcement
  • Microstructure
  • X-ray Microtomography (XMT)


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