Freeze Granulation for distribution of carbon nanotubes in alumina matrix

New approach for distribution of carbon nanotubes in alumina matrix

Alumina–carbon nanotubes composites were studied with respect to obtain the homogeneous distribution of nanotubes within the alumina matrix. Disaggregation and uniform dispersion of carbon nanotubes in alumina matrix are crucial requirements for improvement fracture toughness and also electrical conductivity of these composites. New approach comprises functionalisation MWCNTs by acid treatment, stabilisation of alumina/MWCNT dispersion with subsequent freezing has been used, which resulted in formation of granulated homogenous mixture. The ceramic composites were prepared by hot pressing at 1550 °C using these mixtures. Microstructural analysis as well as electrical conductivity measurements has been used for observation of distribution of nanotubes within composites. Electrical conductivity, as an indicator of homogeneity of conductive network distribution, increases from 6 to 1140 S/m when compared the conventional process and approach presented in this work at the same volume fraction of MWCNTs 10 vol.%.