Aluminium metal matrix composites (AMMCs) are the fastest developing materials for structural applications. Friction Stir Processing (FSP) has evolved as a promising surface composite fabrication technique mainly because it is an eco-friendly and solid-state process. A spurt in the interest of research community and a resulting huge research output makes it difficult to find relevant information to further the research with objectivity. To facilitate this, the present article addresses the current state of the art and development in surface metal matrix fabrication through FSP with a specific focus on ex-situ routes. The available literature has been carefully read and categorized to present effects of particle size, morphology and elemental composition. The effect of various reinforcements on development of different functional characteristics is also discussed. Effect of main FSP parameters on various responses is presented with objectivity. Based on the studied literature concluding summary is presented in a manner in which the literature becomes useful to the researchers working on this important technology.
The article presents the effect of rotational and travelling speed and down force on the spindle torque acting on the tool in Friction Stir Processing (FSP) process. The response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to find a dependence combining the spindle torque acting on the tool with the rotational speed, travelling speed and the down force. The linear and quadratic models with interaction between parameters were used. A better fitting was achieved for a quadratic model. The studies have shown that the increase in rotational speed causes a decrease in the torque while the increase in travelling speed and down force causes an increase in the torque. The tests were conducted on casting aluminium alloy AlSi9Mg. Metallography examination has revealed that the application of FSP process results in a decrease in the porosity in the modified material and microstructure refining in the stir zone. The segregation of Si and Fe elements was evident in the parent material, while in the friction stir processed area this distribution was significantly uniform.
The AlMg10 aluminum alloy reinforced with SiC particles was subjected to friction stir processing (FSP). The composite was made by mechanical mixing and gravity casting. The mass fraction of SiC particles in the composite was about 10%. Evaluation of the effects of FSP treatment was performed by means of light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, EDS and hardness measurement. It was found that the inhomogeneous distribution of SiC particles and their agglomeration, which were observable in the cast composite, were completely eliminated after FSP modification. The treatment was also accompanied by homogenisation of the material in the mixing zone as well as fragmentation of both the matrix grain of the composite and SiC particles. In the case of SiC particles, a change in their shape was also observed. In the as-cast composite, particles with dimensions from 30 to 60 µm and a sharp-edged polyhedral shape prevailed, while in the material subjected to friction treatment, particles with dimensions from 20 to 40 µm and a more equiangular shape prevailed. Pores and other material discontinuities occurring frequently in the as-cast composite were completely eliminated after friction modification. The recorded changes in the microstructure of the material were accompanied by an increase in the hardness of the composite by nearly 35%. The conducted investigations have shown that FSP modification of the AlMg10/SiC composite made by the casting method leads to favorable microstructural changes in the surface layer and may be an alternative solution to other methods and technologies used in surface engineering.
Effects of various friction stir processing (FSP) variables on the microstructural evolution and microhardness of the AZ31 magnesium alloy were investigated. The processing variables include rotational and travelling speed of the tool, kind of second phase (i.e., diamond, Al2O3, and ZrO2) and groove depth (i.e., volume fraction of second phase). Grain size, distribution of second phase particle, grain texture, and microhardness were analyzed as a function of the FSP process variables. The FSPed AZ31 composites fabricated with a high heat input condition showed the better dispersion of particle without macro defect. For all composite specimens, the grain size decreased and the microhardness increased regardless of the grooved depth compared with that of the FSPed AZ31 without strengthening particle, respectively. For the AZ31/diamond composite having a grain size of about 1 μm, microhardness (i.e., about 108 Hv) was about two times higher than that of the matrix alloy (i.e., about 52 Hv). The effect of second phase particle on retardation of grain growth and resulting hardness increase was discussed.