Bulk Copper-Nanodiamond Nanocomposites; Processing and Properties
Copper has widespread use as engineering material, because of its structural and functional properties, notably high thermal and electrical conductivity. A major drawback of this base metal and its alloys is a relatively low hardness. This precludes its utilization in applications in which both high conductivity and high strength/hardness are needed, e.g. in injection moulds for plastics. Nanostructured metals and nanocomposites are ways to address the low hardness problem, provided the nanostructured material is thermally stable during processing and service. In the present research, composite powders, with 5 to 30 at % nanodiamond, were consolidated into bulk samples. The copper-nanodiamond composite powders were vacuum encapsulated and extruded at 600°C. A significant proportion of the initial hardness in the powders is retained after extrusion. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the extruded material indicates good bonding between the nanodiamond particles and the copper matrix. Raman spectroscopy on the consolidated samples evidences the presence of graphite, possibly due to partial disintegration of ultradisperse nanodiamond agglomerates.
António Torres Marques, António Fernando Silva, António Paulo Monteiro Baptista, Carlos Sá, Fernando Jorge Lino Alves, Luís Filipe Malheiros and Manuel Vieira
J. B. Correia et al., "Bulk Copper-Nanodiamond Nanocomposites; Processing and Properties", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 587-588, pp. 443-447, 2008