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Development of Cu-Exfoliated Graphite Nanoplatelets (xGnP) Metal Matrix Composite by Powder Metallurgy Route

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DOI: 10.4236/graphene.2015.44010    3,648 Downloads   4,462 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

In the present investigation the possibility of using exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets (xGnP) as reinforcement in order to enhance the mechanical properties of Cu-based metal matrix composites is explored. Cu-based metal matrix composites reinforced with different amounts of xGnP were fabricated by powder metallurgy route. The microstructure, sliding wear behaviour and mechanical properties of the Cu-xGnP composites were investigated. xGnP has been synthesized from the graphite intercalation compounds (GIC) through rapid evaporation of the intercalant at an elevated temperature. The thermally exfoliated graphite was later sonicated for a period of 5 h in acetone in order to achieve further exfoliation. The xGnP synthesized was characterized using SEM, HRTEM, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The Cu and xGnP powder mixtures were consolidated under a load of 565 MPa followed by sintering at 850°C for 2 h in inert atmosphere. Cu-1, 2, 3 and 5 wt% xGnP composites were developed. Results of the wear test show that there is a significant improvement in the wear resistance of the composites up to addition of 2 wt% of xGnP. Hardness, tensile strength and strain at failure of the various Cu-xGnP composites also show improvement upto the addition of 2 wt% xGnP beyond which there is a decrease in these properties. The density of the composites decreases with the addition of higher wt% of xGnP although addition of higher wt% of xGnP leads to higher sinterability and densification of the composites, resulting in higher relative density values. The nature of fracture in the pure Cu as well as the various Cu-xGnP composites was found to be ductile. Nanoplatelets of graphite were found firmly embedded in the Cu matrix in case of Cu-xGnP composites containing low wt% of xGnP.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Alam, S.N., Kumar, L. and Sharma, N. (2015) Development of Cu-Exfoliated Graphite Nanoplatelets (xGnP) Metal Matrix Composite by Powder Metallurgy Route. Graphene, 4, 91-111. doi: 10.4236/graphene.2015.44010.

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