Microstructure and Hardness Characteristics of Al2O3-B4C Particle-Reinforced Cu Matrix Composites
Copper is widely used in industrial applications because of its high electrical and thermal conductivity, easiness of processing and good corrosion resistance. However, copper also has some distinct limitations such as low hardness, low tensile yield strength and poor creep resistance. In this report copper matrix was reinforced with ceramics like Al2O3 and B4C particles using powder metallurgy (PM) method and its microstructure was examined with SEM and EDS. The microstructure has revealed an uniform distribution of particles in the matrix and a good interface bonding between B4C particles and the matrix. However the dispersion of Al2O3 particles, of larger sizes, has led to some porosity and inter-particle contacts in the composites. Therefore, hardness of B4C particle-reinforced composites is significantly higher than that of Al2O3 particle-reinforced composites.