Metal matrix composites based on a low carbon steel matrix reinforced with high carbon steel wires have been fabricated by a combined cold and hot rolling process. Both continuously and discontinuously aligned composites have been produced. A subsequent heat treatment allowed the formation of martenisitc, bainitic or pearlitic wires in a ferrite predominantly matrix. The optimum wire microstructure giving a composite with high strength and reasonable ductility was found to be bainitic — martensitic wires were found to contain microcracks that gave poor composite strengths and ductilities. The discontinuous wire composites produced similar strengths to the continuous composites only when they were deformed to give a wire aspect ratio greater than 20. The strengths of both types of composites showed a good fit to the rule of mixtures as the volume fraction of fibers was increased.
Materials Science and Engineering A : Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructures and Processing,
Vol. 300A (2001), pp. 135-141(7)