Rapid microwave sintering of carbon nanotube-filled AZ61 magnesium alloy composites

Akeem Damilola Akinwekomi, Wing Cheung Law, Chak Yin Tang, Ling Chen, Chi Pong Tsui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a powder metallurgy processing technique combined with rapid microwave sintering was used to synthesise carbon nanotubes (CNTs) filled AZ61 magnesium alloy composites under ambient conditions, without recourse to any secondary process. In order to determine the appropriate amount of CNTs for taking full advantage of the AZ61/CNTs composite, a powder mixture of the CNTs, in varying volume fractions of 1-3%, and the AZ61 alloy was prepared through a mechanical milling process. The optimized milling intensity allowed for reducing the powder size for effective microwave absorption, and thus improved the dispersion of the CNTs in the Mg alloy matrix without reducing the structural integrity of CNTs. In addition to the incorporation of the CNTs with the dual role of mechanical reinforcement and microwave susceptor, microwave sintering was achieved in only 8 min by using a synergetic combination of graphite and silicon carbide as microwave susceptors in a microwave furnace. The sintered samples, whose porosity ranged between 4 and 6%, were characterised for microstructural, hardness, compressive and fracture properties. The results of hardness and compression tests indicated that these properties of all the composites were significantly improved compared to the monolithic samples. The highest microhardness value (∼105% increment) was recorded for the composite with 3.0% volume fraction of CNTs, while the composite sample with 1.0% volume fraction of CNTs had the highest ultimate compressive yield strength and 0.2% offset yield strength with approximate increments of 59% and 127%, respectively. The failure mechanisms of the composites as compared with the monolithic samples were discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2016


  • A. Metal-matrix composites (MMCs)
  • B. Mechanical properties
  • E. Powder processing
  • E. Sintering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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