Hybrid Aluminum Composite Materials Based on Carbon Nanostructures
We investigated formation of carbon nanofibers grown by chemical deposition (CVD) method using an acetylene-hydrogen mixture on the surface of micron-sized aluminum powder particles. To obtain uniform distribution of the carbon nanostructures on the particles we deposited nickel catalyst on the surface by spraying from the aqueous solution of nickel nitrate. It was found that increasing the time of the synthesis lowers the rate of growth of carbon nanostructures due to the deactivation of the catalyst. The Raman spectroscopy measurements confirm the presence of disordered carbon corresponding to CNFs in the specimen. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed the presence of aluminum carbide in the hot pressed samples. An aluminum composite material prepared using 1 wt.% CNFs obtained by uniaxial cold pressing and sintering showed 30% increase in the hardness compared to pure aluminum, whereas the composites prepared by hot pressing showed 80% increase in the hardness. Composite materials have satisfactory ductility. Thus, the aluminum based material reinforced with carbon nanostructures should be appropriate for creating high-strength and light compacts for aerospace and automotive applications and power engineering.
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