Simultaneous enhancement of dispersion and interfacial adhesion in Al matrix composites reinforced with nanoceramic-decorated carbon nanotubes

Weiwei Zhou, Peng Yang, Yuchi Fan, Naoyuki Nomura, Akira Kawasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Simultaneously achieving homogeneous dispersion and appropriate interfacial adhesion is the foremost concern for designing high-performance carbon nanotube (CNT)/Al matrix composites. Herein, a strategy for surface modification was developed to fabricate uniform CNT/Al composites with enhanced interfacial strength. Small quantities of Al2O3 nanoparticles were locally adhered to the surface of functionalized CNTs by electrostatic self-assembly, thereby promoting the adsorption of high concentrations of CNTs onto Al powders and hindering the agglomeration of CNTs. After densification, the CNTs retained their structural integrity and exhibited both individual distribution and unidirectional alignment in the matrix. As revealed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, the Al2O3 nanoparticles promoted a large elastic buckling of the nanotube inner wall and formed a curved, stable contact with the CNTs, producing strong anchors at the CNT-Al interface. Consequently, the CNT-Al2O3/Al composites exhibited enhanced mechanical properties compared with the CNT/Al composites, while maintaining superior electrical conductivity. This work demonstrates the great potential of surface decoration in producing advanced CNT/metal composites in electrical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140784
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Volume804
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 15

Keywords

  • Al matrix composites (AMCs)
  • Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)
  • Dispersion
  • Load transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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