High Strength and High Electrical Conductivity Al Nanocomposites for DC Transmission Cable Applications

Abdolreza Javadi, Shuaihang Pan, Chezheng Cao, Xiaochun Li
2021 Journal of Composites Science  
Aluminum is one of the most abundant lightweight metals on Earth with broad practical applications, such as in electrical wires. Although traditional aluminum manufacturing by alloying, deformation and thermomechanical means addresses the balance between high strength and high conductivity, adding metallic ceramic nanoparticles into the aluminum matrix can be an exciting alternative approach to mass produce aluminum electrical wires. Here, we show a new class of aluminum nanocomposite
more » ... conductors (ANECs), with significantly higher hardness (130 HV) and good electrical conductivity (41% IACS). This ANEC is composed of Al and dispersed TiB2 nanoparticles, as confirmed by XRD scanning and SEM imaging. We further observed an unusual ultra-fine grain (UFG) size when slow cooling ANEC samples, as a grain as small as 300 nm was clearly captured in FIB images. We believe that the significant hardness enhancement can be partially attributed to the UFG. Our investigation and theoretical analysis further validated that UFG can be achieved when nanoparticles are uniformly dispersed and distributed in the aluminum matrix, and this understanding is important for the development of Al nanocomposite wires with high strength and high electrical conductivity.
doi:10.3390/jcs5070172 doaj:d612abc559774890837f937922204c5d fatcat:merwxc7kyzgolkk6ncaqhm75om