Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of MWCNT/Ti6Al4V Composites Consolidated by Vacuum Sintering
Ti6Al4V alloys with low weight, high corrosion resistance, high melting point, high biocompatibility and unique mechanical properties have been receiving great attention for wide applicability in many industry fields such as automobiles, aerospace and biomedical. However, Ti6Al4V tends to be easily oxidized at high temperature, exhibit low thermal conductivity, low hardness and low yield strength and thus have led to the limitation of applicability in many industries. In this study, we have fabricated Ti6Al4V matrix composites reinforced with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) to enhance the hardness and yield strength. Vacuum sintering technique has been used to prepare MWCNT/Ti6Al4V composites. Microstructural and phase studies indicated that the composite structure consists of two main phases including α-Ti and β-Ti and MWCNTs were uniformly dispersed in Ti6Al4V matrix. The relative density of composite decreases as the CNT content increases as resulted from the porous structure of the CNT, which limits the aggregation process of the composite. When the CNT content increased, the hardness and yield strength of the composite increased, reaching maximum values of 378 HV and 356 MPa with 2 vol.% MWCNTs, which are nearly 16 and 38 % higher than those of Ti6Al4V alloy. The enhancement in hardness and compressive strength is attributed to the good mechanical properties of MWCNTs and load transfer effect from Ti6Al4V alloy matrix to reinforcement material.
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