Recent developments in metal matrix composite-encapsulated ceramic armor show promise in lightweight armor technology. The system contains ceramic tiles, such as alumina, sandwiched between unreinforced aluminum or aluminum metal matrix composite (Al-MMC), which has a better toughness compared to the ceramic tiles. The sandwich structures should not be quenched during the fabrication, as the large mismatch in the coefficients of thermal expansion between the ceramic tiles and the unreinforced aluminum or Al-MMC creates internal stresses high enough to fracture the ceramic tiles. However, slow cooling of most commercial alloys creates large precipitates making solute unavailable for the formation of fine precipitates during aging. Here, we develop a non-quenched, high-strength metal matrix utilizing dilute Al-Sc-Zr alloys. We demonstrate that the dilute Al-0.09 Sc-0.045 Zr at.% alloy and the same alloy containing 0–4 vol.% alumina short fibers do not result in precipitation upon slow cooling from a high temperature, and can thereafter be aged to increase their strength. They exhibit a moderate strength, but improved ductility and toughness as compared to common armor aluminum alloys, such as AA5083-H131, making them attractive as armor materials and hybrid armor systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)