Al-MWCNT nanocomposite synthesized via spark plasma sintering: Effect of powder milling and reinforcement addition on sintering kinetics and mechanical properties

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Abstract

In this work, the effect of mechanical milling of aluminium (Al) powder and subsequent addition of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as reinforcement followed by powder mixture consolidation via spark plasma sintering has been investigated. Grain growth during sintering, densification behaviour and mechanical properties (microhardness and compressive properties) were analyzed to complement the study of sintering kinetics. The results showed that for milled Al powder compact, densification started at a lower temperature as compared to the as-received powder compact. This is attributed to large specific surface area of milled Al powders and high amount of diffusivity path created during the milling. The addition of MWCNTs, reinforcement of high hardness and compressive strength, constricted Al particle deformation, sliding and rearrangement during compaction, thereby hindering densification. This behaviour was confirmed by observed increase in T start and T end, the temperature at which densification started and ended, respectively, for nanocomposites containing MWCNTs. Mechanical properties were significantly improved as a result of milling. Microhardness and compressive strength of the milled powder compact increased by 97% and 53%, respectively. MWCNTs pinned grain boundaries and caused dislocation generation and accumulation, which led to further improvement in mechanical properties. However, Al-1.0wt% CNT showed reduction in microhardness due to inefficient dispersion of MWCNTs leading to large amounts of porosity.

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Singh, L. K., Bhadauria, A., & Laha, T. (2018, January 1). Al-MWCNT nanocomposite synthesized via spark plasma sintering: Effect of powder milling and reinforcement addition on sintering kinetics and mechanical properties. Journal of Materials Research and Technology. Elsevier Editora Ltda. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmrt.2018.03.005

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