A practical assessment of fiber reinforced aluminum matrix composites

Composites have been developed with great success by the use of fiber reinforcements in polymer matrix materials. However, due to the limitation of some properties of polymer matrices, intense exploration on the use of metallic matrices has ensued, particularly with respect to aluminum. Several challenges stand in the way of production, such as higher processing temperatures, fiber/matrix bonding issues, and the ability to produce desired geometries. However, these problems are being solved and the present paper reviews the current state of the production of fiber reinforced metal matrix composites in addition to an introductory review of fiber composites in general. Based on current research, the future of these materials lies in the ability to economically produce desired shapes by pressure infiltration systems, and the need for improvement in fiber/matrix bonding and perhaps significant alloy development.