Studies on the influence of stirrer blade design on the microstructure and mechanical properties of a novel aluminum metal matrix composite

Pradeep Kumar Krishnan, Ramanathan Arunachalam*, Afzal Husain, Majid Al-Maharbi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the present work, the influence of stirrer blade design on the dispersion of reinforcement particles in the aluminum metal matrix was studied extensively through experiments and also simulated them using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. The microstructure and mechanical properties of the produced metal matrix composites (MMCs) were studied. The analysis of the microstructure was performed using an optical microscope to visualize the reinforcement distribution and binding within the matrix. Further, field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to characterize the MMCs. The experimental density was assessed using the Archimedes method, and the theoretical density was determined using the mixture law to determine the percentage of porosity in the MMCs. Hardness, compression, and tensile testing were performed on the produced samples. A three-dimensional computational method was used to predict the flow field of aluminum melt and study the influence of the blade design on the distribution of the reinforcement. Experimental results validated the CFD recommendation on the blade design. The CFD recommendation was based on the structure, power number, and the number of blades, and accordingly, the four-blade flat stirrer (B4) design was the best. The experimental results also corroborated the CFD recommendation with the four-blade flat stirrer design achieving the highest compressive strength (642 MPa), highest hardness (45 HRB), and highest tensile strength (206 MPa) among the five different blade designs investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021008
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Advanced materials and processing
  • Alumina
  • Aluminum composites
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Modeling
  • Simulation
  • Simulation
  • Stir-squeeze casting
  • Stirrer blade design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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