The mechanical response and failure of Al-TiB2 composites fabricated by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) were investigated. The effective flow stress at room temperature for different TiB2 particle volume fractions between 0% and 15% was determined using compression experiments on cylindrical specimens in conjunction with an iterative computational methodology. A different set of experiments on tapered specimens was used to validate the effective flow curves by comparing experimental force-displacement curves and deformation patterns to the ones obtained from the computations. Using a continuum damage mechanics approach, the experiments were also used to construct effective failure curves for each material composition. It was demonstrated that the fracture modes observed in the different experiments could be reproduced in the computations. The results show that increasing the TiB2 particle volume fraction to 10% results in an increase in material effective yield stress and a decrease in hardening. For a particle volume fraction of 15%, the effective yield stress decreases with no significant influence on the hardening slope. The ductility (workability) of the composite decreases with increasing particle volume fraction.
Keywords: AMCs; SPS; ductile failure; finite elements.