Journal of Applied Physics vol:88 issue:4 pages:2130-2137
Metal matrix composites have many desirable characteristics for precision components, e.g., light weight, dimensional stability, and high thermal conductivity. The understanding of the mechanisms and processes taking place at their production is of crucial importance, since these factors are important for the properties of the composite and its future application. A theoretical model of the processes at diffusion controlled formation of TiB2 in liquid Al under microgravity has been proposed. The main features of the developed model are: mechanisms controlling the formation of the TiB2; degree of distribution of the dispersed TiB2 particles; and mean size and size distribution of the dispersed TiB2 particles. The results obtained with the aid of the proposed model were verified on our recent experiments at the STS95 space shuttle mission. The model predicts correctly the TiB2 particles distribution along the specimens and the characteristic split of the reaction zone observed experimentally. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-8979(00)07914-7].