Investigating the Influence of Diffusion on the Cohesive Zone Model of the SiC/Al Composite Interface

M Tahani and E Postek and T Sadowski, MOLECULES, 28, 6757 (2023).

DOI: 10.3390/molecules28196757

Modeling metal matrix composites in finite element software requires incorporating a cohesive zone model (CZM) to represent the interface between the constituent materials. The CZM determines the behavior of traction-separation (T-S) in this region. Specifically, when a diffusion zone is formed due to heat treatment, it becomes challenging to determine experimentally the equivalent mechanical properties of the interface. Additionally, understanding the influence of heat treatment and the creation of a diffusion zone on the T-S law is crucial. In this study, the molecular dynamics approach was employed to investigate the effect of the diffusion region formation, resulting from heat treatment, on the T-S law at the interface of a SiC/Al composite in tensile, shear, and mixed-mode loadings. It was found that the formation of a diffusion layer led to an increase in tensile and shear strengths and work of separation compared with the interfaces without heat treatment. However, the elastic and shear moduli were not significantly affected by the creation of the diffusion layer. Moreover, the numerical findings indicated that the shear strength in the diffusion region was higher when compared with the shear strength of the 111 slip plane within the fcc aluminum component of the composite material. Therefore, in the diffusion region, crack propagation did not occur in the pure shear loading case; however, shear sliding was observed at the aluminum atomic layers.

Return to Publications page