Fatigue crack propagation mechanism for SiC whisker or SiC particle reinforced aluminum matrix composites

Chitoshi Masuda*, Yosihisa Tanaka, Motohiro Yamamoto, Minoru Fukazawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Fatigue crack propagation properties and fracture mechanisms were examined for three commercially fabricated aluminum matrix composites containing SiC whiskers (SiCw) and SiC particles (SiCp) under rotating bending condition. Fatigue crack propagation rates for SiCw/A2024 and SiCp/A356 composites were lower than those for unreinforced alloys at a given stress intensity factor near fatigue threshold, while the fatigue thresholds for those composites were higher than those for matrix alloys. For SiCp/A357 composite the fatigue crack propagation rates were higher than those for SiCp/A356 composite. Fractography revealed that the fatigue crack would propagate to the whisker/matrix interface following the formation of dimple patterns in the whisker rich zones or formation of striation patterns in the whisker poor zones for SiCw/A2024 composites, while for SiCp/A356 and SiCp/A357 composites the fatigue crack would propagate in the matrix near fatigue threshold. The near final failure crack would be linked to the sub-crack initiated from the particles ahead of the main crack. The fatigue crack propagation models were proposed for discontinuous fiber reinforced aluminum matrix composites. It is suggested that the silicon carbide whiskers or particles would have a very significant effect on fatigue crack propagation properties near fatigue threshold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-339
Number of pages21
JournalAdvanced Composite Materials: The Official Journal of the Japan Society of Composite Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites


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