Strengthening efficiency of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) is investigated for aluminum-based composites with grain sizes ranging from ∼250 to ∼65 nm. The strength of composites is significantly enhanced proportional to an increase of the MWCNT volume. However, the increment differs depending on deformation mode of the matrix. The strengthening efficiency of MWCNTs in ultrafine-grained composites is comparable with that predicted by the discontinuous fiber model, whereas the efficiency becomes half of the theoretical prediction as grain size is reduced below ∼70 nm. For nano-grained aluminum, activities of forest dislocations diminish and dislocations emitted from grain boundaries are dynamically annihilated during the recovery process, providing a weak plastic strain field around MWCNTs. The observation may provide a basic understanding of the strengthening behavior of nano-grained metal matrix composites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites