Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of fly ash and graphite particles as low cost reinforcing materials for improved wear resistance, enhanced mechanical properties and reduction in density of hybrid composites. Design/methodology/approach - The AlSi10Mg/fly ash/graphite (Al/FA/Gr) hybrid composite was synthesised by stir casting method. The dry sliding wear and friction behaviour of hybrid composites were studied using pin-on-disc machine by varying parameters like load and weight fraction of fly ash, and compared with the base metal alloy and aluminium-graphite composite. The tests were conducted with a constant sliding speed of 2?m/s and sliding distance of 2,400?m. Findings - The hybrid composites exhibit higher hardness, higher tensile strength and lower density when compared to unreinforced alloy and aluminium-graphite composite. The incorporation of fly ash and graphite particles as reinforcements caused a reduction in the wear rate and coefficient of friction (COF) of the hybrid composites. The improvement in the tribological characteristics occured due to the load carrying capacity of hard fly ash particles and the formation of a lubricating film of graphite between the sliding interfaces. The wear rates and COF of unreinforced aluminium alloy and composites increase with an increase in the applied normal load. The wear rates and COF of hybrid composites decrease with an increase in the fly ash content. 9 wt.% fly ash and 3 wt.% graphite reinforced hybrid composite exhibited the highest wear resistance and lowest COF at all applied loads. Abrasive wear and delamination were dominant in the mild wear regime of aluminium alloy and composites. Due to subsurface deformation and crack propagation, plate-like wear debris were generated during delamination wear. In the severe wear regime, the dominant wear mechanism was adhesive wear with formation of transfer layers. Practical implications - It is expected that these findings will contribute towards the development of lightweight and low cost aluminium products with improved tribological and mechanical properties. Originality/value - The wear and friction data have been made available in this article for the use of Al/FA/Gr hybrid composites in tribological applications. Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
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S. Va Prasat and Subramanian, Rb, “Tribological properties of AlSi10Mg/fly ash/graphite hybrid metal matrix composites”, Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, vol. 65, pp. 399-408, 2013.