Investigation of Carbon Nanotube Dispersions in Zirconium Oxide for Improvement of Mechanical Properties
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The overarching goal of this project is to investigate the effects of adding various carbon nanotube (CNT) dispersions to Zirconium Oxide, on its mechanical properties. For this, first it will be investigated on how to uniformly disperse different CNTs in Zirconium Oxide powder to create Spark Plasma Sintered (SPS) composite specimens. Then the impact of CNT length, diameter, and weight fraction on its role as a reinforcement material in sintered Zirconia will be investigated, from a toughness improvement standpoint. The addition of CNT is expected to increase the toughness of the Zirconia composite by hindering crack propagation by acting as a randomly oriented crack propagation suppressor. Also, since CNTs are similar to graphite powder (a dry lubricant), the frictional coefficient and wear rates are expected to be lower. The sintered specimens will be characterized using electron microscopy and elemental analysis. Its mechanical performance will be evaluated through micro-hardness, nano-indentation, bending, and impact tests, and the results compared with those of pure Zirconia to quantify mechanical performance.
Lewis, Daniel O (2019). Investigation of Carbon Nanotube Dispersions in Zirconium Oxide for Improvement of Mechanical Properties. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from