Fabrication of Copper-Alumina Nanocomposites by Mechanochemical Routes
Nanostructure composites of Copper-Alumina were successfully produced by new mechanochemical method using two different routes. First, route A was carried out by addition of coarse copper to aqueous solution of aluminum nitrate, and second, route B was also carried out by addition of coarse copper to aqueous solution of aluminum nitrate and ammonium hydroxide. In both routes, the mixtures were heated in air and milled mechanically to get the oxides powders of CuO and Al2O3. The CuO was reduced in preferential hydrogen atmosphere into fine copper. The composite powders have been cold pressed into briquettes and sintered in hydrogen atmosphere. The structure and characteristics of powders as well as sintered composites produced from both routes were examined by XRD, SEM, EDS, TEM and metallographic techniques. The results showed that, in both routes, nano-sized particles of alumina were formed and dispersed within the copper matrix. The structure revealed the formation of CuAlO2 spinel structure at copper alumina interface. Nanocomposites produced by route-B showed finer alumina particles of 30 nm compared to 50 nm produced by route-A resulting in improved properties in terms of relative density, macro and microhardness values.
F. Shehata et al., "Fabrication of Copper-Alumina Nanocomposites by Mechanochemical Routes", Journal of Nano Research, Vol. 6, pp. 51-60, 2009