Properties of magnesium alloys reinforced with nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes: a review


Magnesium alloys suffer from only moderate high-temperature strength and creep resistance. Aluminium- free magnesium alloys for sand casting or alloys containing aluminium with expensive additional alloying elements may be in use, but only microparticle or microfibre- reinforced magnesium alloys really exhibit satisfactory creep strengths at temperatures up to 250°C. Reinforcing magnesium alloys with ceramic nanoparticles could be a solution for preserving a low density while increasing the high-temperature performance. When produced using melting processes, nanoparticle-reinforced magnesium composites are expected to enjoy strengthening due to the grain refinement described in the Hall–Petch relation. When an isotropic distribution of nanoparticles is achieved, the composites are additionally expected to be Orowan-strengthened. In this review, a variety of ceramic materials, such as SiC, Al2O3, Y2O3, SiO2 and carbon nanotubes were investigated for reinforcement. Pure magnesium and various magnesium alloys were chosen as the matrix material and both powder metallurgical (PM) and melting processes were used for production of the composites. The mechanical properties of the composites were generally enhanced, compared to an unreinforced alloy; not only at room temperature, but also at elevated temperatures. In some cases an increase in strength in combination with increased ductility was also identified.
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