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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 370785, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/370785
Research Article

Processing of CNTs Reinforced Al-Based Nanocomposites Using Different Consolidation Techniques

Mechanical Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Received 5 August 2013; Revised 21 September 2013; Accepted 21 September 2013

Academic Editor: Fathallah Karimzadeh

Copyright © 2013 N. Al-Aqeeli. 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.

Abstract

In this work, the development of two types of Al-based alloys with different concentrations of Si reinforced with MWCNT’s at 0.5–2.0 wt% is presented. Sonication of the CNT’s in ethyl alcohol was carried out for dispersion, and the mixtures were ball milled for 1, 3, and 5 hrs. SEM/EDS were used to study the morphology and the effects of changing milling parameters in addition to changes caused due to increasing concentration of the CNT’s. Furthermore, three sintering techniques, namely, Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS), Microwave Sintering (μWS), and Hot Isostatic Press Sintering (HIP) were employed to consolidate the ball milled powders at varying temperatures of 400, 450, and 500°C. It was found that SPS consolidated samples showed the most promising results amongst the three with the highest hardness values; around 100% densification, as well as the finest microstructure. On the other hand, microwave sintered samples showed the least appealing results, this could be attributed to the poor temperature distribution and the pressureless nature of the technique. A sintering temperature of 500°C was found to be the most suitable for these types of alloys.