Strengthening of Al and Al-Mg Alloy Wires by Melt Inoculation with Al/MgB2 Nanocomposite
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This study hinges on the feasibility of strengthening Al and Al-Mg wires by adding Al nanocomposite pellets containing MgB2 nanoparticles into the melt upon fabrication. These MgB2 nanoparticles were obtained by fragmentation using a high-energy ball mill, and were, afterward, mechanically alloyed with pure aluminum. The resulting MgB2/Al nanocomposite pellets were sintered at 260°C to be subsequently added into molten aluminum and an Al-Mg alloy melt. Cold rolling intercalated with stepwise annealing allowed the fabrication of 1 mm diameter wires with a final area reduction of 96%. Mechanical and physical properties of the treated wire specimens were compared to those of similarly processed pure aluminum wire. The ultimate tensile strength of the treated wires increased approximately double fold with respect to untreated wires at the expense of some loss in electrical conductivity.