Carbon Nanotube/Nanofiber Embedded Nanoporous Anodized Aluminium Oxide Surface and Its Tribological Properties
Nanoporous alumina has been prepared by anodization of pure aluminium using phosphoric acid electrolyte. Carbon nanotubes/nanofibres (CNTs/CNFs) are grown within the pores by chemical vapour deposition technique, using acetylene gas as carbon precursor. Such synthesis of nanostructured carbonaceous materials within the nanoporous oxide template has high potential for many applications (e.g., electronics, magnetic, etc.) in nanotechnology. Possibility of using such material combination for engineering systems where abrasion resistance coupled with self-lubrication (at comparatively higher loads) are the key requirements, has been explored through the present work. Pore structure has been characterized by SEM/FE-SEM in this study and CNTs/CNFs have been examined by TEM, FE-SEM and Raman spectroscopy. While the pore diameters are found to lie in the range of 180–220 nm, the CNTs/CNFs diameter are observed to be in the range of 50 to 220 nm. The CNTs/CNFs growing from bottom of the pores are found to replicate the pore diameter, while those grown above the surface are varying significantly in diameter and probably matching the diameter of the catalyst, which remains adsorbed on the top surface and inner walls of the pores. On comparing friction and wear properties of both materials (viz. anodized alumina and CNTs/CNFs embedded anodized alumina) as determined by pin-on–disc machine using hardened steel disc as counterface, it is found that wear rate and coefficient of friction of CNTs embedded composite surface is significantly lower which is attributed to formation of transfer layer of hard wear resistant alumina mechanically mixed with graphitic CNTs/CNFs.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-08-01
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