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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 160580, 6 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Two Powder Processing Techniques on the Properties of Cu-NbC Composites

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
3Department of Production Systems, Toyohashi University of Technology, Toyohashi, Aichi 440-0038, Japan

Received 29 May 2013; Revised 31 October 2013; Accepted 31 October 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editor: Pavel Lejcek

Copyright © 2014 B. D. Long et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An in situ Cu-NbC composite was successfully synthesized from Cu, Nb, and C powders using ball milling and high pressure torsion (HPT) techniques. The novelty of the new approach, HPT, is the combination of high compaction pressure and large shear strain to simultaneously refine, synthesize, and consolidate composite powders at room temperature. The HPTed Cu-NbC composite was formed within a short duration of 20 min without Fe contamination from the HPT’s die. High porosity of 3–9%, Fe and niobium oxidations, from grinding media and ethanol during ball milling led to low electrical conductivity of the milled Cu-NbC composite. The electrical conductivity of the HPTed Cu-NbC composite showed a value 50% higher than that of milled Cu-NbC composite of the same composition.