Wettability and reactivity between molten aluminum and randomly aligned carbon nanotubes

Abstract

The wettability and reactivity between molten aluminum (Al) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a key issue in the preparation of CNTs-reinforced Al-matrix composites using a solidification route. In this work, we measured the wettability of randomly aligned multi-walled carbon nanotubes (buckypaper) by molten Al at 973–1173 K in a high vacuum using a modified sessile-drop method and examined their interactions using a droplet-sucking technique. The wettability between Al and CNTs is even worse than that of the Al/graphite system. The contact angles are basically larger than 140° and show only a sluggish decrease with time during isothermal dwelling. The chemical stability of CNTs in contact with Al is closely related to their structural integrity. The CNTs with good crystallinity and structural integrity have relatively high chemical stability and exhibit only a weak interfacial reaction with Al at 973 K. However, the stability of structural defective parts is much lower. They are readily eroded by molten Al, leading to the fragmentation of the CNTs. These CNT fragments having an open tubular structure are then rapidly dissolved in molten Al along the axial and radial directions. Simultaneously, a large amount of Al4C3 is formed at the interfaces.

Graphical abstract

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 12

References

  1. 1

    Kuzumaki T, Miyazawa K, Ichinose H, Ito K (1998) Processing of carbon nanotube reinforced aluminum composite. J Mater Res 13:2445–2449. https://doi.org/10.1557/JMR.1998.0340

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    So KP, Jeong JC, Park JG, Park HK, Choi YH, Noh DH et al (2013) SiC formation on carbon nanotube surface for improving wettability with aluminum. Compos Sci Technol 74:6–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2012.09.014

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Homa M, Sobczak N, Sobczak JJ, Morgiel J, Seal S, Nowak R, Bruzda G (2016) Wetting behavior and reactivity between AlTi6 alloy and carbon nanotubes. J Mater Eng Perform 25:3317–3329. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11665-016-1919-5

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    George R, Kashyap KT, Rahul R, Yamdagni S (2005) Strengthening in carbon nanotube/aluminum (CNT/Al) composites. Scripta Mater 53:1159–1163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scriptamat.2005.07.022

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Deng CF, Zhang XX, Wang DZ (2007) Chemical stability of carbon nanotubes in the 2024Al matrix. Mater Lett 61:904–907. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matlet.2006.06.010

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    He CN, Zhao NQ, Shi CS, Song SZ (2009) Mechanical properties and microstructures of carbon nanotube-reinforced Al matrix composite fabricated by in situ chemical vapor deposition. J Alloys Compd 487:258–262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jallcom.2009.07.099

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Ci LJ, Ryu ZY, Jin-Phillipp NY, Rühle M (2006) Investigation of the interfacial reaction between multi-walled carbon nanotubes and aluminum. Acta Mater 54:5367–5375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2006.06.031

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Yang LL, Shen P, Cong XS, Jiang QC (2013) Wetting and reaction of molten La with poly- and mono-crystalline MgO at 1323 K. J Mater Sci 48:960–966. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-012-6821-4

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Sobczak N, Nowak R, Radziwill W, Budzioch J, Glenz A (2008) Experimental complex for investigations of high temperature capillarity phenomena. Mater Sci Eng A 495:43–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2007.11.094

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Cong XS, Shen P, Wang Y, Jiang QC (2014) Wetting of polycrystalline SiC by molten Al and Al−Si alloys. Appl Surf Sci 317:140–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.08.055

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Landry K, Eustathopoulos N (1996) Dynamics of wetting in reactive metal/ceramic systems: linear spreading. Acta Mater 44:3923–3932. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1359-6454(96)00052-3

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Landry K, Kalogeropoulou S, Eustathopoulos N (1998) Wettability of carbon by aluminum and aluminum alloys. Mater Sci Eng A 254:99–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-5093(98)00759-X

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Landry K, Kalogeropoulou S, Eustathopoulos N, Naidich Y, Krasovsky V (1996) Characteristic contact angles in the aluminium/vitreous carbon system. Scripta Mater 34:841–846. https://doi.org/10.1016/1359-6462(95)00581-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Al-Saleh MH (2019) Measuring surface energy of carbon nanotubes using modified washburn method. Mater Res Express 6:115088. https://doi.org/10.1088/2053-1591/ab4b2c

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Abrahamson J (1973) The surface energies of graphites. Carbon 11:337–362. https://doi.org/10.1016/0008-6223(73)90075-4

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Wenzel RN (1936) Resistance of solid surfaces to wetting by water. Ind Eng Chem 28:988–994. https://doi.org/10.1021/ie50320a024

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Cassie ABD (1948) Contact angles. Discuss Faraday Soc 3:11–16. https://doi.org/10.1039/df9480300011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Ferro AC, Derby B (1995) Wetting behavior in the Al–Si/SiC System: interface reactions and solubility effects. Acta Mater 43:3061–3073. https://doi.org/10.1016/0956-7151(95)00014-M

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Porro S, Musso S, Vinante M, Vanzetti L, Anderle M, Trotta F et al (2007) Purification of carbon nanotubes grown by thermal CVD. Phys E Low-dimens Syst Nanostruct 37:58–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physe.2006.07.014

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Simensen CJ (1989) Comments on the solubility of carbon in molten aluminum. Metall Trans A 20:191. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02647508

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Iida T, Guthrie RIL (1988) The physical properties of liquid metals. Clarendon Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Shen P, Fujii H, Matsumoto T, Nogi K (2004) Critical factors affecting the wettability of α-alumina by molten aluminum. J Am Ceram Soc 87:2151–2159. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1151-2916.2004.tb07721.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the National Key R&D plan (No. 2017YFB0703101), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 52071155) and the Changbai Mountain Scholars Program of Jilin Province (No. 2015011).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

H-ZS contributed to data curation, writing-original draft. YW was involved in data curation, investigation. S-MC contributed to investigation. PS was involved in conceptualization, methodology, visualization, resources, writing-review and editing, supervision and funding acquisition.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ping Shen.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to this work.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Handling Editor: Philip Nash.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Shen, HZ., Wang, Y., Chen, SM. et al. Wettability and reactivity between molten aluminum and randomly aligned carbon nanotubes. J Mater Sci 56, 7799–7810 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-020-05616-0

Download citation