In-situ Fiber Strength Distribution in NextelTM 610 Reinforced Aluminum Composites
MetPreg, a composite developed by Touchstone Research Laboratories (Tridelphia, WV), is an aluminum metal matrix composite reinforced by continuous NextelTM 610 alumina fibers. The question is, after processing, are the NextelTM fibers affected in any way that their strengthening contribution to the composite is reduced? From experimentation and statistical analysis, a strength distribution of pre-processed NextelTM 610 fibers is formed and an empirical correlation is developed relating strength to the observed flaw size on the failed single fibers. This correlation is then independently applied to flaw size information gathered from fibers on the fracture surface of MetPreg samples to develop a separate strength distribution of post-processed NextelTM 610 fibers. The pre- and post-processed distributions are compared to one another to determine the effect, if any, that composite processing has on the strength of NextelTM 610 fibers. The results indicate that the in-situ strength distribution of fibers was increased by composite processing.