Metal matrix composites (MMC) include a range of materials which provide increased high temperature performance, wear resistance or stiffness compared to the metals. Most work referred to here uses a process called squeeze casting of SAFFIL fibres (originally an ICI product) to produce near net shape components with carefully positioned reinforcement.
A persistent problem with MMCs has been reactions between the fibre and matrix leading to loss of properties in both components. A novel technology looked at promoting reactions to produce novel matrix materials. Intermetallic compounds based on the titanium aluminide and nickel aluminide systems offer extremely good high temperature properties and combined with fibres have reasonable toughness and enhanced wear resistance.