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Bio‐inspired Aluminum Composite Reinforced with Soft Polymer with Enhanced Strength and Plasticity

Composites have played a key role in revolutionizing the automobile, marine and aerospace industries. There is a constant attempt for the development of low‐density composite materials with superior mechanical and corrosion resistant properties for elevated temperature applications. Here, an attempt has been made to develop a nature‐inspired unique aluminum based composite with low‐density polymer (polyethylene terephthalate, i.e. soft material) reinforcement which shows an enhancement in strength and toughness. The composite was processed using the easily scalable and simple friction stir processing technique. Mechanical properties of the uniformly reinforced alumunium composite show double ultimate strength and five‐fold improvement in plasticity. The ultimate strength of the composite increases at elevated temperature. The experimental observations have been further supported by theoretical calculations and molecular dynamics simulations.

Adv. Eng. Mater. 2020, DOI: 10.1002/adem.201901116

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