Abstract

The present study investigates the fabrication of Ni3Al-carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposite using electrically activated reaction synthesis (EARS) and its effects on the mechanical properties of the nanocomposite. The effect of initial nickel (Ni) particle size and mechanical milling time of Ni-CNT/Al hierarchical composite powder on reaction characteristics, product microstructure and properties was investigated for the first time. An increase in mechanical milling time was found to result in a decline in ignition temperature and time to ignition for the two investigated initial nickel particle sizes (4–8 µm and 45–90 µm). The smaller initial nickel particle size and longer milling times had a major influence on the homogeneity, decreasing porosity, and increasing hardness of the reacted compacts.

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