Browsing Department of Mechanical Engineering & the Built Environment by Subjects
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Micro/Nanostructure and tribological characteristics of pressureless sintered carbon nanotubes reinforced aluminium matrix compositesThis study reports the manufacture, microstructure, and tribological behaviour of carbon nanotube reinforced aluminium composites against pure aluminium. The specimens were fabricated using powder metallurgy method. The nanotubes in weight percentages of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 were homogeneously dispersed and mechanically alloyed using a high energy ball milling. The milled powders were cold compacted and then isothermally sintered in air. The density of all samples was measured using Archimedes method and all had a relative density between 92.22% and 97.74%. Vickers hardness increased with increasing CNT fraction up to 1.5 wt% and then reduced. The microstructures and surfaces were investigated using high resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM). The tribological tests showed that the CNT reinforced composites displayed lower wear rate and friction coefficient compared to the pure aluminium under mild wear conditions. However, for severe wear conditions, the CNT reinforced composites exhibited higher friction coefficient and wear rate compared to the pure aluminium. It was also found that the friction and wear behaviour of CNT reinforced composites is significantly dependent on the applied load and there is a critical load beyond which CNTs could have adverse impact on the wear resistance of aluminium.
Moisture effects on the bending fatigue of laminated compositesThis paper investigated the effect of moisture ingress on the bending fatigue of laminated composites. An accelerated testing method was developed to investigate the correlation between composite fatigue and moisture diffusion effects. Unidirectional and cross-ply laminated CFRP composites were manufactured in autoclave, and then submerged in both fresh and seawater for various periods until moisture saturation. Quasi-static and cyclic tests were carried out in both air and wet environment, and the failure mechanisms were investigated using visual and microscopic methods. Additionally, a robust 2D Finite Element model (FEA) was developed to simulate the fatigue crack propagation based on Virtual Crack Closure Technique (VCCT), while a 3D FEA model was developed to investigate the edge effect on fatigue crack propagation. The experimental observations gave a good agreement with the FEA models. The study showed that the bending fatigue failure was due to the so-called buckling-driven delamination, and the fatigue life was reduced significantly owing to the combination of edge effect and capillary effect. The fatigue test indicated that the fatigue resistance was degraded one stress level due to the water ingress. Therefore, a 4-step fatigue failure theory was proposed to explain the moisture effects on the crack propagation under bending fatigue.