A composite of boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) and iron (Fe) has been synthesized using a novel one-step process and characterized by optical, electron microscope, and mechanical measurement techniques. The BNNT–Fe composite, the first of this type produced to the best of our knowledge, is shown to have up to 24% higher specific yield strengths from stress–strain measurements and Rockwell Hardness C Scale (HRC), depth of penetration into sample of 120° diamond cone, 50% higher relative to a control sample of pure Fe. Scanning and transmission electron microscope imaging shows that the composite is comprised of a uniform nanoscale mixture of BNNTs bridging the metal particles.
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RBP thank the following collaborators: Victor Greenhut for assistance with the SEM imaging of the fracture surface, Paul Anderson for general guidance in setting up the laboratory equipment and use of his laboratory space, Peggy Sanchez for performing the FTIR measurements, Mike Hespos for performing the hardness measurements, Sean Swaszek for measuring the stress–strain curves, Steve Miller and Wojtek Tutak for help in obtaining the TEM images, Steve Bottglieri for Knoop hardness measurements and Ed Hochberg for UV–Vis analysis. RBP also thank Wes Cobb at Denver University for assistance in making ultrasound measurements and Bill Davis for image processing help. JL and ZI thank Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny for financial support.
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Patel, R.B., Liu, J., Eng, J. et al. One-step CVD synthesis of a boron nitride nanotube–iron composite. Journal of Materials Research 26, 1332–1339 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2011.66