Novel Ceramic-Metallic Composites for Light-Weight Vehicle Braking Systems

This project centered on a close interaction between the TCON Division of Fireline, Inc. and various individuals affiliated with the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at Youngstown State University (YSU). Fireline, a local company within 10 minutes walking distance from the YSU campus core, has developed a unique process that utilizes displacement reactions to transform ceramic preforms into ceramic-metallic co-continuous interpenetrating phase composites with enhanced properties while retaining the original shape and dimensions of the preform. Through initial development efforts, it was discovered that TCON composite materials have extraordinary macro-, micro-, and nanoscale features that lead to their exceptional properties ideal for applications that require cost effective, lightweight materials. The unique properties of TCON composites in general are derived from the fine interlocking of ceramic and metallic phases throughout the composite microstructure. The ceramic phase provides high stiffness, low density and high strength to the composite, while the continuous network of reinforced metal gives high thermal & electrical conductivity, and high fracture toughness to the material. Such properties make these materials excellent candidates for replacing traditional materials in a number of applications, such as high wear/corrosion resistant refractory shapes for molten metal transport and/or containment in industrial processes (the major area in which Fireline currently commercializes some of its TCON products), or for new applications, including light weight, high strength components for vehicle braking systems. This project focused on the synthesis of specific ceramic precursors and investigations of their subsequent transformation via reactive metal displacement to produce novel ceramic-metallic interpenetrating phase composites (IPCs) for potential use in light weight braking systems in vehicles. The proposed IPCs are closely related to TCON composites currently produced by Fireline, and they are designed to yield composites with the properties required for brake rotor materials in order to expand Fireline's product line in this area even further. Specifically, the objectives for this project were to prepare novel composite materials consisting of: (1) A MgAl2O4 spinel phase combined with a light weight, high strength Ti-Al alloy and/or Al metallic phases (or other metallic phase depending on precursor), and (2) The oxynitride spinel phase, Al3O3N (related to so-called 'transparent spinels') combined with Al metal. The spinel phases of the proposed new composites have cubic lattices, like the predominant Al metallic component of these composites, meaning even stronger binding potential between the two phases and thus a stronger composite.

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  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Youngstown State University Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering

    Youngstown State University
    One University Plaza
    Youngstown, OH  United States  44555
  • Project Managers:

    Esenwein, Joann

  • Performing Organizations:

    Youngstown State University, Ohio

    Center for Transportation & Materials Engineering
    One University Plaza, Moser Hall
    Youngstown, OH  United States  44555
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wagner, Timothy

  • Start Date: 20120515
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 32188

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01517416
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Youngstown State University Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0041
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 7 2014 1:01AM