We have used the BKD method to investigate the predicted stress gradients, induced near the fiber-matrix interfaces during the processing of metal matrix composites. The BKD patterns in a composite specimen have to be acquired with great consistency before the images can be analyzed for quantitative information on dislocation densities and hence plastic strain. We have developed a suitable image acquisition and analysis procedure for this purpose. The developed methodology has been applied to evaluate the plastic strain gradients in an Al-W composite subjected to a cooling cycle. We have compared the BKD results to FEM analysis which takes into account the temperature dependent material properties and actual spatial distribution of fibers. The results reveal the presence of sharp gradients of plastic strain near the interfaces.
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