Experimental and Finite Element Simulation of Nano-indentation on Metal Matrix Composites: Hardness Prediction


Mechanical engineering, Girona University


The scientifi c importance of nanocomposites are being increased due to their improvedproperties. This paper is divided into two parts. First, Al-Al2O3 nanocomposite wasproduced by using ball milling technique followed by cold compaction and sintering.Microstructure and morphology studies were done through SEM, TEM, and EDX anal-ysis on the produced powder. The mechanical properties of the produced compositewere determined by the tensile test. Also, nano-indentation experiment was conductedon the produced composite to determine its hardness. Second, a 2-D axisymmetrymodel was implemented in ANSYS software to simulate the nano-indentation experi-ment on pure aluminum and Al-Al2O3 nanocomposite. A conical indenter with 70.3was considered in simulations. The results show that, a homogenous distribution of thereinforcement in the matrix was achieved after 20 h milling. The elastic modulus, yieldstrength, and the hardness of the produced composite were increased than the puremetal. The FE simulation results show a good agreement with the experimental resultsfor nano-indentation experiment. The scatter of the FE results from the experimentalresults in the pure metal is smaller than that observed for the nanocomposite.