Hybrid Treatment and Natural Aging Behavior of Peak-Aged Eutectoid Steel Powder-Reinforced Al 7075 Matrix Composites

Ananda Hegde, Karthik Birur Manjunathaiah, Sathyashankara Sharma, Gowrishankar Mandya Chennegowda, Gajanan Anne, Ramakrishna Vikas Sadanand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current work focuses on the natural aging phenomenon of a eutectoid steel powder-(0.8 wt.%) reinforced Al-Zn-Mg (Al 7075) alloy, which was subjected to a hybrid heat treatment. The hybrid treatment comprises the aging treatment of a matrix and the conventional treatment of a steel reinforcement in a single stretch on the stir cast composite. This material finds uses in space and transportation applications. The hybrid treatment consists of a conventional heat treatment cycle to obtain pearlite, bainite, and martensite phases in steel powder, followed by an age-hardening treatment for the Al 7075 matrix. This hybrid heat treatment resulted in improvements in the hardness and strength over the conventional aging treatment. The peak-aged hybrid specimens were subjected to natural aging in an open atmosphere for a continuous duration of 25 weeks to study the stability of the properties after peak aging. Tests of the mechanical properties such as the hardness and tensile strength along with microstructure analysis were carried out. During natural aging, the hardness of composites decreases irrespective of the quantity of the reinforcement in the composites and the type of reinforcement phase alteration during hybrid heat treatment. Also, the composites subjected to hybrid heat treatment show better resistance to natural aging compared to the conventionally aged samples. Within the group, the hybrid-treated martensite formed into a composite with 6 wt.% reinforcement showed only a 4% reduction in hardness during natural aging, which is an indication of a decent level of resistance to natural aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalJournal of Composites Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 03-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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