Intragranular Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes Comprehensively Improves Aluminum Alloys

Kang Pyo So, Akihiro Kushima, Jong Gil Park, Xiaohui Liu, Dong Hoon Keum, Hye Yun Jeong, Fei Yao, Soo Hyun Joo, Hyoung Seop Kim, Hwanuk Kim, Ju Li, Young Hee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The room-temperature tensile strength, toughness, and high-temperature creep strength of 2000, 6000, and 7000 series aluminum alloys can be improved significantly by dispersing up to 1 wt% carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into the alloys without sacrificing tensile ductility, electrical conductivity, or thermal conductivity. CNTs act like forest dislocations, except mobile dislocations cannot annihilate with them. Dislocations cannot climb over 1D CNTs unlike 0D dispersoids/precipitates. Also, unlike 2D grain boundaries, even if some debonding happens along 1D CNT/alloy interface, it will be less damaging because fracture intrinsically favors 2D percolating flaws. Good intragranular dispersion of these 1D strengtheners is critical for comprehensive enhancement of composite properties, which entails change of wetting properties and encapsulation of CNTs inside Al grains via surface diffusion-driven cold welding. In situ transmission electron microscopy demonstrates liquid-like envelopment of CNTs into Al nanoparticles by cold welding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800115
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul


  • aluminum
  • carbon nanotubes
  • creep
  • in situ transmission electron microscopy
  • intragranular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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