Stability of nickel coatings on carbon fiber preforms: A SEM investigation
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Metal Matrix Composites (MMC's) reinforced with continuous fibers were generally fabricated by a foil-sandwich technique or by liquid metal infiltration. Liquid metal infiltration may be used to cast final shapes in molds containing fiber preforms. It is also used to make composite wire from which may be fabricated panels and shapes by hot-press diffusion bonding or pultrusion. The major drawback of this method is that the molten matrix must wet the fiber for successful infiltration to occur, requiring special fiber surface treatments or matrix additives, and that, molten metals generally dissolve or degrade the fibers, necessitating a barrier coating on the fibers. All these problems can be solved using carbon fibers coated with metallic layers, e.g. nickel. This work analyses an easy method to produce modified carbon fibers by electroplating and the process of its recristallization. The topography of the growth front of the deposit has been studied. At temperatures higher than about 300° C an annealing under vacuum is required, because of the high reactivity of metal coating, nevertheless the heat treatment of metal deposit produces always an embrittled material.
Key wordsMMC Nickel coated graphite Squeeze casting Instable interface Electroplating
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