METAL MATRIX COMPOSITES RESEARCH and DEVELOPMENT LABORATORY

Touchstone is uniquely facilitized to perform this work with many pieces of unique test equipment.

Metal Matrix Composites

Metal matrix composite image analysis: SCS-6 fiber in titanium

For almost two decades, Touchstone has worked in the development of novel metal matrix composites.

This includes discontinuously reinforced metal matrix composites, continuous fiber metal matrix composites, as well as work in continuous fiber reinforced ceramics.

Our personnel sat on the Mil Handbook 17 committee that developed mechanical testing methods for metal matrix composites.

Among the mechanical tests offered for Metal Matrix Composites:

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  • Room, high, and low temperature tensile (sub-size to 100 ft.)
  • Compression
  • Iosipescu shear
  • 3 & 4 pt. bend
  • Tensile/compression bearing
  • Creep/stress rupture
  • Room and elevated temperature fatigue
  • Thermal fatigue
  • Spectrum fatigue
  • Fatigue crack growth (optical, DCEP, cmod, replication)
  • Fiber bond strength (push-out)
  • Hardness
  • Impact

Another unique instrument developed and patented at Touchstone is the NxSEM™. The NxSEM measures the bond strength between a fiber and its matrix. Unlike a pull-out test, this test can be performed on an as-manufactured part. Pull out tests require that a special sample be made, which can raise the question of whether the specially manufactured sample is identical to the as-manufactured.

Touchstone has developed may unique metallographic methods to examine the microstructure of metal matrix composites.

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Touchstone understands the mechanics of metal matrix composites and has performed a number of failure analyses on metal matrix composite parts.

Working in the development of new fibers, Touchstone has developed novel methods for fiber fractography. After a tensile test, the initial fracture surface can be identified, collected and examined via scanning electron microscopy. The resultant evaluation of defects – or lack thereof, can provide feedback to the manufacturing process for improvements in mechanical properties.

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Since the year 2000, Touchstone has been developing an aluminum metal matrix composite technology based on polymer composite manufacturing techniques. The technology is named MetPreg®since it is thought of a a metallic prepreg. Metpreg can be pultruded and therefore can be manufactured in regular shapes which are useful in the manufacture of parts of many kinds. This product will hold 85% of its longitudinal strength at 850°F. MetPreg can be filament wound on a traditional filament winder. The aluminum matrix is treated like a very high temperature thermoplastic.

Whether you are looking for strategic advice, technology to license, the development of a novel concept, or some exotic testing of metal matrix composites, let Touchstone be your one-stop shop.

Please give us a call for a no-cost assessment of your project needs and how we can help you.