The yield strength of iron-carbon nanotube composites fabricated by in situ chemical vapor deposition of 2.2 vol% single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) inside an iron matrix showed substantial enhancement up to 45%, relative to that of similarly treated pure iron samples without carbon nanotubes of the same piece density. The work hardening coefficient and the Vickers hardness coefficient also significantly increased in these composites relative to the reference samples. X-ray diffraction together with energy dispersive x-ray measurements and micro-Raman spectroscopy indicated no concomitant formation of carbides and very little amorphous carbon during the vapor deposition process. Micro-Raman spectroscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy showed spectral signatures and images, respectively, indicating the formation and dispersion of SWNTs within the cavities of the iron matrix. It is suggested that the increased strength of the nanocomposites was due to the mechanical support provided to these cavities by the extremely strong SWNTs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering