Conventional metallic composites are comprised of a metal matrix with a ceramic second phase. In recent years, composites have been developed in which both the matrix and the reinforcing phase are ductile metals. In 1998 a 90 vol%Au – 10 vol% Ag metal-metal composite wire was produced and found to possess both high tensile strength (550 MPa) and low electrical resistivity (2.56 m ohm-cm). In that composite, the silver reinforcing phase consisted of sub-micron diameter filaments parallel to the wire axis. This article describes the microstructures, mechanical properties, and electrical resistivity of three gold matrix composites in which the reinforcing phases are 7 vol% Ag, 14 vol% Ag, and 7 vol%Pt. These composites were drawn to diameters as small as 60 microns. Results from wedge bonding trials with these composite wires are also reported.
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