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.
Three transgenic soybean lines expressing the Cry1Ia5 gene were developed using the Agrobacterium transformation system. The integration of the Cry1Ia5 gene in the genome of the transgenic plants was approved using specific primers for PCR and real time PCR analysis, respectively. The insecticidal activity of three transgenic lines (L1, L2 and L3) against 2nd larval instars Spodoptera littoralis was tested. The data indicate that L2 exhibited the highest mortality percentage 9 days post feeding (60%) followed by L3 (40%) then L1 (20%) while the control showed 0% mortality. The larvae fed transgenic material appeared smaller in size than compared to the control larvae. The reduction in insect size and weight was due to the accumulation of higher phenoloxidase activity in insect tissues. The higher mortality observed in L2 was due to a significant decrease in the acetylcholine esterase activity that leads to accumulation of acetylcholin at higher levels which causes paralysis and death. The developed transgenic line 2 could be used to construct an insect resistant soybean cultivar.