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Use of Carbon Nanotubes to Address Thermal Cracking in 6061 Aluminum and Haynes 230

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Non-eutectic aluminum alloys such as 6000 series and 7000 series aluminums and high temperature nickel alloys are of interest for the fabrication of many high value, critical to function components in industries ranging from industrial equipment, automotive, aerospace and power generation. However, these alloys tend to be prone to thermal cracking because of the thermal processing experienced during the Additive Manufacturing process. This presentation will provide an overview of efforts and results conducted by SHEPRA and the Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) to create a carbon nanotube metal matrix composite to not only address thermal cracking in 6061 aluminum and Haynes 230 but also significantly increase the mechanical strength and stiffness of those composites. The proposed mechanism for this is the creation of a two-phase composite analogous to carbon fiber and epoxy. The carbon nanotubes act both as nucleation sites during the melt pool solidification process to promote a grain structure that is less prone to thermal cracking and act as high strength, high stiffness filament to perform load transfer of the mechanical load through out the matrix.

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion, participant will be able to understand the mechanism that result in thermal cracking of non-eutectic materials in Manufacturing.
  • Upon completion, participant will be able to understand how the use of carbon nanotubes can address thermal cracking in key metals used in Additive Manufacturing.
  • Upon completion, participant will be able to understand how the used of carbon nanotubes can improve the strength and stiffness of metals used in Additive Manufacturing.