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Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Aluminum Matrix Composites Produced by High-Energy Ball Milling

AuthorsTravessa, D.N.; da Rocha, G.V.B.; Cardoso, K. R.; Lieblich, Marcela
KeywordsAluminum matrix composite
Mechanical properties
High-energy ball milling
Carbon nanotubes
Issue Date2017
PublisherASM International
CitationJournal of Materials Engineering and Performance 26(6): 2998-3006 (2017)
AbstractAlthough multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) are promising materials to strengthen lightweight aluminum matrix composites, their dispersion into the metallic matrix is challenge. In the present work, MWCNT were dispersed into age-hardenable AA6061 aluminum alloy by high-energy ball milling and the blend was subsequently hot-extruded. The composite bars obtained were heat-treated by solution heat treatment at 520 °C and artificially aged at 177 °C for 8 h, in order to reach the T6 temper. Special attention was given to the integrity of the MWCNT along the entire composite production. The microstructure of the obtained bars was evaluated by optical and scanning electron microscopy, and the mechanical properties were evaluated by Vickers microhardness tests. Raman spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy were employed to evaluate the structural integrity of MWCNT. It was found that milling time is critical to reach a proper dispersion of the reinforcing phase. The composite hardness increased up to 67% with the dispersion of 2% in weight of MWCNT, when comparing with un-reinforced bars produced by similar route. However, age hardening was not observed in composite bars after heat treatment. It was also found that MWCNT continuously degraded along the process, being partially converted into AlC in the final composite.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s11665-017-2724-5
issn: 1544-1024
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