Carbon nanotubes: Amino functionalization and its application in the fabrication of Al-matrix composites

S. K. Singhal, Renu Pasricha, Mamta Jangra, Rajiv Chahal, Satish Teotia, R. B. Mathur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Al-matrix composites reinforced with amino-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (fCNTs) have been fabricated using the powder metallurgy process. Using this method fCNTs (1.5wt.%) were dispersed in Al powder by high energy ball milling. Al-fCNTs composites (1.5wt.%) were fabricated by the consolidation of powders at 550MPa followed by sintering at 620°C under a vacuum of 10 -2Torr for 2h. Functionalization of the nanotubes was carried out by ball milling multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in the presence of ammonium bicarbonate. It was observed that the dispersion of fCNTs in Al-matrix was much higher than those of non-functionalized MWCNTs. Microhardness measurements showed that a microhardness value of about 400kg/mm 2 could be obtained for Al-matrix composites loaded with 1.5wt.% fCNTs. Microstructure observations using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution electron microscopy (HRTEM) confirmed that the sintered composites had a good dispersion of fCNTs in Al matrix and they do not agglomerate with each other. Further, the HRTEM characterization of these composites revealed the formation of a thin transition layer of Al 4C 3 between fCNTs and Al matrix, which is believed to be responsible for load transfer from Al matrix to fCNTs. A thorough characterization of MWCNTs and fCNTs synthesized in the present work was carried out using XRD, SEM, TGA, HRTEM, FTIR, SIMS and Raman spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-263
Number of pages10
JournalPowder Technology
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Dispersion
  • Mechanical properties
  • Metal matrix composites
  • Powder metallurgy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering


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