Technical Brief

A Novel Technique for Production of Metal Matrix Composites Reinforced With Carbon Nanotubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Cesar Isaza

Escuela de Materiales y Minerales,
Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Cl 75 79 a-51,
Medellín M 17, Colombia
e-mail: caisaza@unal.edu.co

G. Sierra

Escuela de Materiales y Minerales,
Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Cl 75 79 a-51,
Medellín M 17, Colombia
e-mail: geasierraga@unal.edu.co

J. M. Meza

Escuela de Materiales y Minerales,
Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Cl 75 79 a-51,
Medellín M 17, Colombia
e-mail: jmmezam@unal.edu.co

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 28, 2014; final manuscript received April 8, 2015; published online September 9, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Donggang Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 138(2), 024501 (Sep 09, 2015) (5 pages) Paper No: MANU-14-1641; doi: 10.1115/1.4030377 History: Received November 28, 2014

The metal matrix composites (MMCs) have been widely used where high specific properties and temperature resistance are required, particularly in aerospace applications. In this work, an ASTM-1100 aluminum alloy in the form of sheets was reinforced with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by a novel technique which we have called sandwich technique. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are dispersed in a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) solution; this solution is poured into a container and dried to obtain a reinforced polymer, which is then stretched to obtain a sheet with CNTs aligned in the stretching direction. These composite sheets were stacked with aluminum sheets, and then these stacks were hot compacted in a die using an argon atmosphere to prevent the damage of the CNTs. During this process, most of the polymer evaporates and aluminum diffusion allows obtaining a consolidated matrix with a banded structure of CNTs. The mechanical properties of the composite were measured by tensile and nano-indentation tests, showing increases of up to 100% in the elastic modulus and significant increases in yield and ultimate strength with respect to unreinforced material. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) analyses showed a good dispersion of the CNTs within the bands with no evidence of CNTs' damage. No harmful phases were found in the composite after micro X-ray diffraction (XRD) tests. The results showed that the proposed technique is promissory to solve some of the problems in the nano-MMCs manufacturing such as dispersion and alignment of the reinforcing phase.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Process scheme for the MMCs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

PVA without CNTs. PVA/CNTs bad dispersed and PVA/CNTs well dispersed.

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Fig. 3

MMC's composite interfaces: (a) stack of aluminum sheets without PVA, (b) stack of aluminum sheets and layers of reinforced polymer at 0.5 wt.% CNTs, (c) stack of aluminum sheets and layers of reinforced polymer at 2 wt.% of CNTs, and (d) and (e) close up of (b) and (c), respectively

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

MMC's composite interfaces: (a) interface of the composite material reinforced with PVA at 0.5 wt.% of CNT and (b) interface of the composite material reinforced with PVA at 2 wt.% of CNT

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Fig. 5

(a) Micro-XRD of the composite: composite material reinforced with polymer manufactured with PVA at 0.5 wt.% of CNT and (b) interface manufactured of the composite material reinforced with the polymer of PVA at 2 wt.% of CNTs

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Fig. 6

Tension test of composites: (a) stress strain curves, (b) ultimate strength, and (c) yield strength

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Fig. 7

Nano-indentation test at the interface between aluminum sheets: (a) elastic modulus, (b) imprints left by the test, (c) maximum elastic modulus at the interface, and (d) characteristic curve for nano-indentation test




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