An analytical, numerical and experimental study is presented on the deagglomeration and dispersion of fine coal fly ash (CFA) reinforcing particles in an A380 aluminium matrix using a piston-actuated oscillating micro-grid mixing method with a specially designed grid geometry. Based on real-time measurement of the piston force, the apparent viscosity of the melt and the effectiveness of the deagglomeration are measured indirectly. The oscillating micro-grid mixing process is shown to be considerably more time-efficient that comparative stir-casting processes currently employed, leading to a two-fold or three-fold reduction in processing time for the same or better mixing quality, or alternatively a nearly two-fold reduction in the standard deviation of the micro-hardness throughout the material.
- A380 aluminium alloy
- coal fly ash
- metal matrix composites
- oscillating micro-grid mixing