Titanium is known to be an indispensable element in biomaterials. In this study, boron carbide was considered as an alternative to titanium due to its good mechanical properties. Boron carbide has high temperature resistance, high wear resistance, etc. It is a preferred material due to its properties. Considering this information, different compositions were created by mixing Fe–B4C and egg shell powders. Compositions sintered using powder metallurgy technique were investigated mechanically, physically and metallographically. According to the results of the analysis, it was determined that the hardness increased by 13.75% with the addition of egg shell. The hardness value of 204.12 HB was measured in the sample sintered at 1,400°C by adding 6.66% egg shelter powder.
The expected properties of materials to be used in industrial applications are generally low cost, strength, toughness and lightness. Strength in conventional materials can be increased by heat treatment. However, it is not possible to have all of the properties such as impact resistance, abrasion resistance, toughness and lightness together in conventional materials at the same time. These developments, on the other hand, are added to the metal matrix, thanks to the micro- or nano-sized reinforcements . The physical, mechanical and also radiation shielding properties were achieved in metal matrix composite [2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30]. In powder metallurgy method, metal powders are mixed, at room temperature or at elevated temperatures, in the mold with the shape and dimensions of the part to be produced. It is a manufacturing method performed by pressing, forming and then sintering at a certain temperature [31,32,33]. As a first goal in research on agricultural wastes, it is concerned with the use or effective evaluation of the energy potential of wastes . Metal materials are also used to facilitate the machinability of ceramic materials. Direct fabrication methods have been tried to be developed for the production of high-strength ceramic materials .
Recently, research has been carried out on the improvement of the mechanical properties of the materials with the lightening of the materials and the production of new materials by evaluating the wastes. Research on agricultural wastes is concerned with the use or effective evaluation of the energy potential of wastes as the first target. It has been stated that the use of egg shell powders in the production of metal matrix composites improves mechanical properties [35,36,37,38,39].
It is thrown into the environment after use. Excipient from egg shells is used as a base material for the development of medicine and dental implants or as a food additive and calcium supplement, a component of agricultural fertilizers and an ingredient for bone implants. Still a significant amount of egg shell is considered as waste .
The aim of this study was to investigate the physical, mechanical and metallographic effects of the egg shell powders added in the production of metal matrix–ceramic composites, and the produced samples were characterized.
2 Materials and methods
Metallic powder properties used in this study are given as follows. Fe powders with 99.8% purity and a particle size of less than 70 μm were obtained from Sigma Aldrich. B4C powders with 99.9% purity and a particle size of less than 100 μm from egg shelter powders were used. Powder samples with composition of 98.33% Fe–1.66% B4C, 96.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–1.66% egg shelter, 95% Fe–1.66% B4C–3.32% egg shelter, 93.33% Fe–1.66% B4C–5% egg shelter and 91.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–6.66% egg shelter were prepared. Powder samples were shaped with 30 g circular uniaxial press. After weighing, the composition mixture was mixed in a mixer for 24 h to ensure that the composition was homogeneous. The mixture was shaped by uniaxial cold hydraulic pressing using a high-strength steel mold. It was carried out under a pressure of 400 bar to compress all powder mixtures. Cold pressed samples were sintered at 1,400°C for 2 h in a conventional tube oven using an argon gas atmosphere. After sintering, the samples were allowed to cool naturally under argon atmosphere in the oven. Microhardness and shear strength of the samples were measured by METTEST-HT (Vickers) microhardness tester, respectively. LEO 1430 VP equipped with the Oxford EDX analyzer in TUAM was used for SEM microstructure and EDX analysis as a scanning electron microscope.
The density changes of the composite samples produced in 98.33%Fe–1.66% B4C, 96.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–1.66% egg shelter, 95% Fe–1.66% B4C–3.32% egg shelter, 93.33% Fe–1.66% B4C–5% egg shelter and 91.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–6.66% egg shelter composites were calculated using the sintering composite samples (d = m/V) formula (Figure 1). The volume of sintered samples was measured by the Archimedes principle. All percentages and ratios were given in percent by weight. The minerals contained in the egg shell powders were analyzed and reported in previous study .
3 Experimental results and discussion
3.1 Characterization of specimens
The density–composition graph of the composite samples produced with metal matrix and ceramic additives is given in Figure 1. In the production of composite samples, the additive of egg shell powders was used atomically at different rates between 0 and 6.66% . The density was calculated as 5.28 g/cm3 when egg shell powder was not added in the produced composite. When the egg shell powder was added up to 6.66% atomically, the density value was calculated as 5.93 g/cm3. It was observed in SEM images that the addition of egg shell powder reduced the porosity in the composite.
The hardness values measured in the samples produced in Figure 2 were measured from ten different points and given by taking the average. The lowest hardness value of 178.25 HB was measured in the composite sample without adding egg shell powder. Different compositions were obtained by increasing the egg shell powder atomically up to 6.66% in the sample composition. Among the produced samples, the highest hardness value was measured in the sample belonging to 204.12 HB and 91.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–6.66% composition.
4 Metallographic analysis
In Figure 3, the microstructure of the Fe–B4C composite sample sintered at 140°C produced without adding egg shell powder is given in the SEM picture. It is seen that B4C is homogeneously distributed in the microstructure. It is understood that intergranular neck formation takes place. In addition, it is seen that the porosity in the microstructure is higher than the samples with egg shelter powder added. The hardness and density values of this sample also confirm the excess of porosity.
In Figure 4, the microstructure of the 96.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–1.66% egg shelter sample sintered at 1,400°C by adding egg shelter powder is given. It is seen that the B4C particles in the microstructure maintain their homogeneous distribution in Fe, where the appearance is reduced. It is understood that intergranular neck formation takes place. In addition, it is seen that the porosity in the microstructure is less than the sample without egg shelter powders. The hardness and density values of this sample also confirm that the porosity is less than the sample without egg shelter powders.
In Figure 5, the microstructure of the 95% Fe–1.66% B4C–3.32% egg shelter composite sample sintered at 1,400°C is given in the SEM picture. It is seen that the appearance of B4C particles in Fe in the microstructure decreases and starts to disappear. Porosity decreased due to grain coarsening in the sample of this composition. It turns out that sintering takes place much better. Grain boundaries are clearly observed in the microstructure. The hardness and density data of this sample also confirm the microstructure properties.
In Figure 6, the microstructure of the 93.33% Fe–1.66% B4C–5% egg shelter composite sample sintered at 1,400°C is given in the SEM picture. It is seen that B4C particles and egg shell powders in the microstructure disappear in Fe and turn into gray and black colors. Acicular particles are seen in the microstructure. In the sample of this composition, the porosity decreased a lot with grain coarsening. It is understood that sintering takes place much better in this composition. Grain boundaries are clearly observed in the microstructure.
In Figure 7, the microstructure of the 91.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–6.66% egg shelter composite sample sintered at 1,400°C is given in the SEM picture. In addition to the homogeneous distribution of the microstructure, it is observed that it turns into gray and black colors. Acicular particles are seen in the microstructure. The co-porosity in the sample of this composition was much reduced compared to the other compositions. It is understood that the sintering that takes place in this composition takes place much better than other compositions. The highest hardness value was measured in this composition.
In Figure 8, EDX analysis of the sample of the composition with 1.66% egg shell powder added was made linearly. Fe, Al, Si, Mn and C elements were determined in the sample. Intergranular neck formation is seen in the SEM image. In addition, it is clearly seen in the micro-structured pores.
In Figure 9, EDX analysis of the sample of the composition to which 6.66% egg shell powder was added was performed linearly. Fe, Al, Mg and Ca elements were determined in the sample. Intergranular neck formation is seen in the SEM image. It was observed that the microstructure of the sample, in which the egg shell powder additive was 6.66%, decreased significantly. The decrease in porosity is confirmed by the increase in hardness value.
In Figure 10, X-ray analysis results of the sample belonging to the composition of 98.33% Fe–1.66% B4C are given. According to the results of the analysis, the phases formed were determined as Fe, B4C, Al, Mg and Ca. The lowest density and hardness were measured in this composition. By adding egg shell powders to the composition, improvements were achieved in the material microstructure and mechanical properties.
In Figure 11, X-ray analysis results of the sample of 91.66% Fe–1.66% B4C–6.66% eggS composition are given. According to the results of the analysis, the phases formed were determined as Fe, B4C, Al, Mg and CaO, respectively. The formation of the Fe2B phase is thought to be effective in increasing the hardness. Unlike the phases formed in the sample without egg shell powders, a peak of Fe2B and CaO phases was formed.
In this study, five different compositions prepared were sintered at 1,400°C, and they were examined and characterized physically, mechanically and metallographically. Re-use of egg shells will pave the way for their use in different areas of industry, as it reduces the risk of microbiological problems and environmental pollution. In this study, powders obtained from egg shells by powder metallurgy technique were evaluated in composite production. This article proposes an alternative with the use of egg shell powders in the production of composites by powder metallurgy method.
This study was supported by the Scientific Research Projects Unit with the project numbered 15.Teknoloji.04.
Funding information: This research was funded by A.K.U. BAPK.
Author contributions: Conceptualization, A.Y. and A.E.; methodology, A.Y. and A.E; formal analysis, A.Y. and G.P.; investigation, A.Y. and G.P.; resources, A.Y. and G.P.; data curation, A.Y; writing – original draft preparation, A.Y. and A.E.; writing – review and editing, A.Y. and A.E. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Data availability statement: The processed data necessary to reproduce these findings are available upon request with permission.
Ethical approval: Ethical approval is not required, as the study was not performed in vivo.
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