Interfacial Reaction During High Energy Ball Milling Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes into Ti6Al4V

A. O. Adegbenjo, P. A. Olubambi, J. H. Potgieter, E. Nsiah-Baafi, M. B. Shongwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The unique thermal and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have made them choice reinforcements for metal matrix composites (MMCs). However, there still remains a critical challenge in achieving homogeneous dispersion of CNTs in metallic matrices. Although high energy ball milling (HEBM) has been reported as an effective method of dispersing CNTs into metal matrices, a careful selection of the milling parameters is important not to compromise the structural integrity of CNTs which may cause interfacial reactions with the matrix. In this study, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were purified by annealing in argon and vacuum atmospheres at 1000 and 1800 °C, respectively, for 5 h to remove possible metallic catalyst impurities. Subsequently, 1, 2 and 3 wt.% MWCNTs were dispersed by adapted HEBM into Ti6Al4V alloy metal matrix. Raman spectroscopy (RS), x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy techniques were used to characterize the as-received and annealed MWCNTs, as well as the admixed MWCNT/Ti6Al4V nanocomposite powders. The experimental results showed that vacuum annealing successfully eliminated retained nickel (Ni) catalysts from MWCNTs, while the adapted HEBM method achieved a relative homogeneous dispersion of MWCNTs into the Ti6Al4V matrix and helped to control interfacial reactions between defective MWCNTs and the metal matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6047-6056
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Engineering and Performance
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • aerospace
  • composites
  • metallic matrix
  • nanomaterials
  • powder metallurgy
  • titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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