The most promising replacements for the industrial applications are particle reinforced metal matrix composites because of their good and combined mechanical properties. Currently, the need of matrix materials for industrial applications is widely satisfied by aluminium alloys. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the tribological behaviour of the zinc oxide (ZnO) particles reinforced AA6061 composites prepared by stir casting route.
In this study, AA6061 aluminium alloy matrix reinforced with varying weight percentages (3%, 4.5% and 6%) of ZnO particles, including monolithic AA6061 alloy samples, is cast by the most economical fabrication method, called stir casting. The prepared sample was subjected to X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis, experimental density measurement by Archimedian principle and theoretical density by rule of mixture and hardness test to investigate mechanical property. The dry sliding wear behaviour of the composites was investigated using pin-on-disc tribometer with various applied loads of 15 and 20 N, with constant sliding velocity and distance. The wear rate, coefficient of friction (COF) and worn surfaces of the composite specimens and their effects were also investigated in this work.
XPS results confirm the homogeneous distribution of ZnO microparticles in the Al matrix. The Vickers hardness result reveals that higher ZnO reinforced (6%) sample have 34.4% higher values of HV than the monolithic aluminium sample. The sliding wear tests similarly show that increasing the weight percentage of ZnO particles leads to a reduced wear rate and COF of 30.01% and 26.32% lower than unreinforced alloy for 15 N and 36.35% and 25% for 20 N applied load. From the worn surface morphological studies, it was evidently noticed that ZnO particles dispersed throughout the matrix and it had strong bonding between the reinforcement and the matrix, which significantly reduced the plastic deformation of the surfaces.
The uniqueness of this work is to use the reinforcement of ZnO particles with AA6061 matrix and preparing by stir casting route and to study and analyse the physical, hardness and tribological behaviour of the composite materials.
The corresponding author convey his sincere and earnest thanks to Dr K. Ramanathan, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Karaikudi, Tamilnadu, India.
RM, S.S., K., R., B.V., B. and R., R. (2021), "A study on tribological behaviour and analysis of ZnO reinforced AA6061 matrix composites fabricated by stir casting route", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 73 No. 4, pp. 642-651. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILT-11-2020-0392
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