Freeze Granulation of Al2O3-ZrO2-MWCNTs nanocomposites

Mechanical and functional properties of Al2O3–ZrO2–MWCNTs nanocomposites

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are often reported as additives improving mechanical and functional properties of ceramic composites. However, despite tremendous efforts in the field in the past 20 years, the results are still inconclusive. This paper studies room temperature properties of the composites with polycrystalline alumina matrix reinforced with 0.5–2 vol.% MWCNTs (composites AC) and zirconia toughened alumina with 5 vol.% of yttria partially stabilised zirconia (3Y-PSZ) containing 0.5–2 vol.% of MWCNTs (composites AZC). Dense composites were prepared through wet mixing of the respective powders with functionalised MWCNTs, followed by freeze granulation, and hot-pressing of granulated powders. Room temperature bending strength, Young’s modulus, indentation fracture toughness, thermal and electrical conductivity of the composites were studied, and related to their composition and microstructure. Slight increase of Young’s modulus, indentation fracture toughness, bending strength, and thermal conductivity was observed at the MWCNTs contents ≤1 vol.%. At higher MWCNTs contents the properties were impaired by agglomeration of the MWCNTs. The DC electrical conductivity increased with increasing volume fraction of the MWCNTs.


  • Alumina;
  • Carbon nanotubes;
  • Bending strength;
  • Young’s modulus;
  • Thermal conductivity


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