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Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Al2O3 Composites with Surface-Treated Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs): Dispersibility of Modified Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) on Al2O3 Matrix

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Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) matrix have been reinforced by the multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to overcome the inherent brittleness of Al2O3 matrix. In order to increase mechanical properties of MWCNTs-Al2O3 composites, MWCNTs need to be well dispersed and individually incorporated in Al2O3 matrix. In this work, aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH)3) used as a Al2O3 precursor and MWCNTs were mixed in an aqueous solution for the homogeneous mixing of hetero-particles, as functions of the content of MWCNTs and the potential hydrogen (pH) of Al(OH)3 suspension. Firstly, MWCNTs were purified and modified by an acid reagent, inducing that the dispersibility of MWCNTs is increased in an aqueous solution by carboxylic group given on the surface of MWCNTs. The modified MWCNTs were added in the Al(OH)3 suspension, and then the mixture was filtered at room temperature. The filtered powders were formed using an uniaxial pressing and then densified by a pressureless heat treatment. As the pH is decreased the Al(OH)3 particles are well dispersed in an aqueous solution, due to the increment of repulsive force between particles with a same surface charge. MWCNTs are individually incorporated into Al2O3 matrix up to 1 vol.% MWCNTs, whereas MWCNTs are aggregated at the composite with 3 vol.% MWCNTs. Therefore, control of the pH and the MWCNTs content are key factors to be considered for the fabrication of MWCNTs-Al2O3 composites with high functional properties.
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Keywords: ALUMINUM OXIDE; DISPERSION; MWCNTS; POTENTIAL HYDROGEN; PRECURSOR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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