The growing demands in the automotive and aerospace industries for reduction in energy consumption and producing more fuel-efficient vehicles continues to be a big challenge. Aluminum matrix composites (AMCs) have unique combination of chemical, mechanical, and physical properties which cannot be attained with the use of monolithic materials . This is why AMCs were regarded as promising materials for automotive and aerospace industries . The automobile parts made from these composites include connecting rods, brake drum, cylinder head and were relatively low in cost of processing when compared to others. However, the problem with unreinforced aluminium alloys is the poor tribological properties which can be resolved by reinforcing the alloys with other materials such as fly ash, Al2O3, SiO2, Fe2O3, TiC, B4C, and SiC. With these reinforcements, their morphologies and tribological properties were greatly improved [3–5].
In an attempt to overcome the high cost of ceramic reinforcements being imported, there is growing interest of researches on the use of agricultural wastes as an alternative reinforcement in composites fabrication as being reported by the previous works [5–12]. It was also reported that reinforcement materials determine significantly the overall desired property of developed composites and led to the decrease in wear rate of the investigated composites .
The reinforced Aluminum matrix alloys have made significant strides from laboratory toward commercialization. But the factors understanding that influence the morphology and wear properties of these materials is really a challenge because they are sensitive to the type and nature of reinforcement, the mode of manufacture and the details of fabrication processing of the composite after initial manufacture [13,14]. It is generally agreed that the resistance to wear of AMCs was created by reinforcement and the higher the volume fraction of particles the better the resistance will be however, there is an optimum value of the reinforcement which gives maximum wear resistance to the material .
The various discontinuous dispersed utilizing palm kernel shell powder (PKSP) is one of the solid wastes by product reinforcement available in large quantities in Nigeria. Hence, composites with palm kernel shell powder as reinforcement may likely succeed the cost, time and hazards associated with the imported ceramic materials for better applications.
The PKSP is a great environmental threat causing damage to the land and the surrounding area where these wastes are being dumped. The effective way of utilizing the palm kernel shell powder was to subject to treatment and convert to powder under controlled conditions. Many studies have investigated the use of mussel shell powder as ago-wastes as reinforcement for automobile parts with improvement . The weight fractions of palm kernel shell powder at particle size of 100\(\mu m\) were varied from 0–15 wt. %. The PKSP was characterized by X-Ray florescence to ascertain the compositions and the morphologies of the alloy, composites and the wear mechanisms were investigated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) were studied.
Therefore, this research work is part of effort aimed at considering the potentials wide range of agro-waste powders for the development of low-cost aluminium based composites with the potentials use in wear applications among others.