Fatigue properties and fatigue fracture mechanisms of SiC whiskers or SiC particulate-reinforced aluminium composites

Chitoshi Masuda*, Yoshihisa Tanaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Fatigue properties and fracture mechanisms were examined for three commercially fabricated aluminium matrix composites containing SiC whiskers (SiCw) and SiC particles (SiCp) using a rotating bending test. The fatigue strengths were over 60% higher for SiCw/A2024 composites than that for the unreinforced rolled material, while for the SiCp/A357 composites, fatigue strengths were also higher than that for the unreinforced reference material. For the SiCp/A356 composites at a volume fraction of 20%, the fatigue strength was slightly higher than that of the unreinforced material. Fractography revealed that the Mode I fatigue crack was initiated by the Stage I mechanism for the SiCw/A2024 and SiCp/A357 composites, while for the SiCp/A356 composite, the fatigue crack initiated at the voids situated beneath the specimen surfaces. On the other hand, the fatigue crack propagated to the whisker/matrix interface following the formation of dimple patterns or the formation of striation patterns for SiCw/A2024 composites, while for the SiCp/A356 and SiCp/A357 composites the fatigue crack propagated in the matrix near the crack origin and striation patterns were found. Near final failure, dimple patterns, initiated at silicon carbide particles, were frequently observed. Mode I fatigue crack initiation and propagation models were proposed for discontinuous fibre-reinforced aluminium composites. It is suggested that the silicon carbide whiskers or particles would have a very significant effect on the fatigue crack initiation and crack propagation near the fatigue limit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Jan
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Science(all)


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