Light weight, low density with high mechanical properties and corrosion resistance, aluminum is the most important material and is commonly used for high performance applications such as aerospace, military and especially automotive industries. The researchers who participate in these industries are working hard to further decrease the weight of end products according to legal boundaries of greenhouse gases. A lot of research was undertaken to produce thin sectioned aluminum parts with improved mechanical properties. Several alloying element addition were investigated. Yet, nowadays aluminum has not met these expectations. Thus, composite materials, particularly metal matrix composites, have taken aluminum’s place due to the enhancement of mechanical properties of aluminum alloys by reinforcements. This paper deals with the overview of the reinforcements such as SiC, Al2O3 and graphene. Graphene has recently attracted many researcher due to its superior elastic modulus, high fatigue strength and low density. It is foreseen and predicted that graphene will replace and outperform carbon nanotubes (CNT) in near future.
A356 is one of the widely used aluminium casting alloy that has been used in both sand and die casting processes. Large amounts of scrap metal can be generated from the runner systems and feeders. In addition, chips are generated in the machined parts. The surface area with regard to weight of chips is so high that it makes these scraps difficult to melt. Although there are several techniques evolved to remedy this problem, yet the problem lies in the quality of the recycled raw material. Since recycling of these scrap is quite important due to the advantages like energy saving and cost reduction in the final product, in this work, the recycling efficiency and casting quality were investigated. Three types of charges were prepared for casting: %100 primary ingot, %100 scrap aluminium and fifty-fifty scrap aluminium and primary ingot mixture were used. Melt quality was determined by calculating bifilm index by using reduced pressure test. Tensile test samples were produced by casting both from sand and die moulds. Relationship between bifilm index and tensile strength were determined as an indication of correlation of melt quality. It was found that untreated chips decrease the casting quality significantly. Therefore, prior to charging the chips into the furnace for melting, a series of cleaning processes has to be used in order to achieve good quality products.