In situ synthesis of copper-modified graphene-reinforced aluminum nanocomposites with balanced strength and ductility
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In this work, a novel copper nanoparticles-modified graphene (Cu-NPs@GN)-reinforced Al matrix composites were fabricated. The Cu-NPs@GN hybrids were firstly synthesized by an NaCl template-assisted in situ CVD method and then incorporated into the Al matrix to fabricate Cu-NPs@GN/Al bulk composites by cold-press sintering and hot extrusion. With the merit of the unique characteristic of Cu-NPs@GN hybrid, the Cu-NPs@GN/Al composites exhibited homogeneously dispersed GNs and a strong GN–Al interfacial bonding. It was found that the in situ grown Cu-NPs@GN showed much better strengthening effect than that of the ex situ grown counterparts, which might be attributed to the pinning effect of Al2Cu at the interface and thus promote the load transfer efficiency. Compared with pure Al, the composites with only 0.75 wt% Cu-NPs@GN exhibited a 68% increase in tensile strength (224 MPa) as well as had a total elongation of 17.5%.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the National Natural Science Funds for Excellent Young Scholar (Grant No. 51422104), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51531004, 51771130 and 51472177), the Tianjin Youth Talent Support Program, the Tianjin Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young (Grant No. 17JCJQJC44300) and the Tianjin Science and Technology Support Project (Grant No. 17ZXCLGX00060).