Processing and characterisation of carbon nanotube-reinforced magnesium alloy composite foams by rapid microwave sintering

Akeem Damilola Akinwekomi, Wing Cheung Law, Man Tik Choy, Ling Chen, Chak Yin Tang, Chi Pong Tsui, Xusheng Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The present study proposes an efficient processing scheme for fabricating carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-reinforced magnesium (Mg) alloy AZ61 composite foams with enhanced compressive and energy absorption properties. The scheme combines powder metallurgy, rapid microwave (MW) sintering, and pore wall reinforcement to overcome the low strength, non-uniform pore structure, prolonged sintering process, and high production cost associated with conventional unreinforced Mg-based foams. In the proposed scheme, a dual-stage mixing method is used to homogeneously disperse and incorporate CNTs into the matrix for strength enhancement, and susceptor role, and carbamide granules are used to control the pore size and porosity fractions. In addition, MW sintering is used to rapidly consolidate the samples in 20 min through the synergy between an external and an internal susceptor (i.e. CNTs), which facilitates uniform and volumetric heating of the entire samples. Thus, sample oxidation and the formation of deleterious secondary phases are minimised, while up to 69% energy is saved. Experimental results show that the dispersion and incorporation of CNTs into the matrix, via the present processing scheme, clearly enhance the compressive and energy absorption properties of the composite foams, as compared with the unreinforced foams. The proposed processing scheme is a rapid and energy-saving efficient technique, which can be used to fabricate high quality Mg alloy composite foams with improved compression and energy absorption properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-92
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


  • Magnesium alloy
  • Mechanical properties
  • Metallic foam
  • Microwave sintering
  • Powder metallurgy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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