2022 Volume 39 Pages 219-229
The central concern in the fabrication of carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced metal composites is the well balance between uniform dispersion and structural integrity of CNTs. Rapid and uniform self-assembly of CNTs and spherical Aluminum (Al) particles into a core-shell structure is realized by a smart mechanical powder processing. The factors influencing the dispersion uniformity and structural integrity of CNTs during the processing are studied, including the size of Al particles, mixing speed and mixing time. It is revealed that a size of 35 μm is preferred for the Al particles to tear apart the CNT clusters and obtain a uniform dispersion of CNTs on Al surface. Different composite states, CNTs are singly dispersed, thickly wrapped, or embedded in the Al particles, can be obtained by changing the mixing speed. Well coordination between the CNT dispersion homogeneity and structural integrity could be achieved under suitable processing condition. Therefore, it can be adopted as an efficient and intelligent technology to achieve the desired performance in CNT/Al composites.