The collection of used beverage cans is limited in countries where they are not fabricated; their low value does not justify the extra charge of exporting them for further processing. To address this increasingly serious problem, here we optimize the properties of an aluminum metal matrix composite (Al-MMC) obtained through direct fusion of beverage cans by using the slag generated in the melting process as reinforcement. This method consists of a modified rheocasting process followed by thixoforming. Our main operational variable is the shear rate applied to a semi-solid bath, subsequent to which a suitable heat treatment (T8) is proposed to improve the mechanical properties. The microstructure, the phases obtained and their effect on composite mechanical properties are analyzed. The composite material produced has, under the best conditions, a yield stress of 175. MPa and a tensile strength of 273. MPa. These results demonstrate that the proposed process does indeed transform the used beverage cans into promising composite materials, e.g., for structural applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering