Authors: A.M.K. Esawi, E. Salama
Affilation: The American University in Cairo, Egypt
Pages: 373 - 376
Keywords: carbon nanotubes, aluminum, mechanical behaviour
The latest enhancements in the mechanical behaviour of Al-CNT composites achieved by the research group are presented : an increase in tensile strength, indentation hardness and Young’s modulus of 69%, 72% and 23%, respectively. The observed mechanical advantage combined with the outstanding wear resistance of the composites (reported by the group in another study), confirm the potential of this novel material in light weight structural applications. Similar to other composites, the strength enhancement is usually accompanied by a reduction in ductility which can have serious implications on the formability of the material into various shapes. Reduction in ductility of the composites is currently being addressed through the use of (1) dual matrix approach in which the CNTs are embedded in a first matrix of aluminum powders which are consequently embedded in a second matrix of aluminum; (2) functionally-graded (FG) approach in which a gradual change in the composition of CNT-reinforced regions is tailored to the desired application so as to produce a design-efficient material with an ultra hard surface that gradually leads to a soft core. The two approaches aim at enhancing the formability of the material for wider industrial applications.