The influence of various synthesis techniques on the dispersion and evolution of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in titanium (Ti) metal matrix composites (TMCs) prepared via powder metallurgy routes has been investigated. The synthesis techniques included sonication, high energy ball milling (HEBM), cold compaction, high temperature vacuum sintering and spark plasma sintering (SPS). Powder mixtures of Ti and MWCNTs (0.5wt.%) were processed by HEBM in two batches: (i) ball milling of the mixtures (Batch 1) and (ii) ball milling of Ti powder alone, followed by a further ball milling with sonicated MWCNTs (Batch 2). Both batches of the powder mixtures were pressed at 40MPa into green compacts and then sintered in vacuum. Batch 2 powder mixtures were also consolidated using SPS. The crystallinity and sp2 carbon network of the MWCNTs were characterized through analyzing the characteristic Raman peak ratio (ID/IG) of each processed sample. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used for phase identification. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to study the morphology of the MWCNTs in the powder mixtures. The evolution of MWCNTs during the fabrication process and mechanical properties of the sintered compacts were discussed in conjunction with the formation of nano-crystalline TiC.
- High energy ball milling (HEBM)
- Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)
- MWCNTs-Ti composites
- Raman spectroscopy
- Spark plasma sintering (SPS)