Metal matrix composites (MMC) based on graphene reinforcement and aluminum matrix

MMC based on graphene reinforcement and aluminum matrix


 Graphene reinforced aluminum matrix composites have been prepared by powder metallurgy process. The effect of sintering temperatures on structural and mechanical properties of graphene reinforced aluminum matrix nanocomposites have been reported. X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern, density, microstructure, hardness and compressive strength of prepared aluminum –graphene composites have been investigated. Studies of XRD confirmed the presence of pure aluminum and graphene phases. Scanning electron microscopy studies showed dendrite microstructure indicating to the formation of Al4C3 phase due to the reaction between aluminum and graphene particles. Density and hardness of the samples depends on the sintering temperature. Compressive strength depends on the concentration of graphene reinforcement. The addition of graphene as reinforcement in aluminum matrix increases the strength of composite materials with increasing percentage of graphene contents.
If variation of mixing time as well as the concentration of graphene in metal matrix composites changes the properties of composites. The percentage of graphene 0.25, 0.5, 1 % by weight have been taken to prepare graphene reinforced aluminum matrix composite. The powders of selected composition have been taken for mixing for 1, 3, 5 hours.  The increase in mixing time indicating the more chance of formation of crystalline structure than amorphous structure. After mixing powders have been compacted at 965 MPa by applying uniaxial pressure. Then green compacted samples are sintered at 500 °C. The microstructure of prepared composite has been investigated by electron microscopy which shows that there is a homogeneous dispersion of graphene nanoparticles over aluminum matrix.
 Aluminum graphene metal matrix nanocompoaites prepared by using powder metallurgy process. Aluminum powder and graphene nanosheet have been mixed properly by using ball milling process. Then, the mixtures were compacted at specified compaction pressure by applying uniaxial pressure. The green compacted samples were sintered at 580 °C in a vacuum furnace in an inert atmosphere. The composite by the addition of 0.3 % graphene nanosheet showed there is a 62 % increase in tensile strength with 13 % elongation from 154 MPa to 249 MPa.

Graphene reinforced aluminum alloy 7055 matrix composite is prepared by spark plasma sintering to investigate the mechanical and structural properties. They have selected 1, 3, 5 % of graphene for preparation of composite. They have found that Hardness compressive strength, yield strength of prepared composite were improved with addition of 1 % of graphene further addition of graphene content (3, 5 %) destroyed the mechanical properties.

 The improvement for the mechanical properties of nanocomposites without affecting the ductility of graphene reinforced aluminum matrix nanocomposites has been discussed. Improvement in mechanical properties without affecting the ductility is always a big challenge for the aluminum matrix, aluminum alloy and its nanocomposites. Graphene nanoflakes reinforced aluminum matrix composite have been prepared by hot isostatic extrusion. First aluminum alloy powder and graphene nanoflakes powder mixed together by ball milling then it is hot extrude in the specified die. Scanning electron microscope showed that there is a uniform dispersion of graphene nanoflakes into aluminum alloy matrix. There is no chemical reaction observed at the interface of aluminum alloy and graphene nanoflakes. Mechanical properties are increases with increasing graphene nanoflakes contents. Tensile strength also improved without affecting the ductility.

 Composites which are prepared by aluminum alloy 2024 and layered of graphene. Here, aluminum alloy 2024 is matrix and graphene layered is reinforcement. The composite is prepared by mixing with ball milling followed by hot rolling. Microstructural study of graphene layered reinforced aluminum matrix composite showed the uniform mixing of reinforcement into the matrix.  Mechanical properties of aluminum alloy 2024 matrix reinforced with few layered graphene (FLG) have been investigated. The strength of composites is increases due to homogeneous dispersion of few layered graphene into an aluminum matrix with the high specific area. The composite containing 0.7 vol. % FLGs showed the tensile strength of 700 MPa which is double as compared to the AL2024 sample without reinforcement, and approximately 4 % elongation to failure has been observed.


Metal matrix composites (MMCs) based on graphene reinforcement and an aluminum matrix are advanced materials that combine the lightweight properties of aluminum with the enhanced mechanical and thermal properties of graphene. These composites are designed to have improved strength, stiffness, and thermal conductivity compared to pure aluminum.

Graphene is a two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, known for its exceptional mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. By incorporating graphene into an aluminum matrix, the resulting composite can exhibit superior properties compared to traditional aluminum alloys.

The process of producing graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs typically involves dispersing graphene sheets or nanoparticles into the molten aluminum matrix and then solidifying the mixture to form a composite material. The dispersion of graphene within the matrix is crucial to achieve the desired properties.

The addition of graphene reinforcement to the aluminum matrix can enhance several key characteristics:

Strength and Stiffness:

Graphene’s exceptional mechanical properties, such as its high tensile strength and Young’s modulus, can significantly improve the overall strength and stiffness of the composite material. This reinforcement helps prevent deformation and enhances load-bearing capabilities.

Thermal Conductivity:

Graphene possesses excellent thermal conductivity, allowing it to efficiently dissipate heat. By incorporating graphene into the aluminum matrix, the composite can exhibit improved thermal conductivity compared to pure aluminum. This property is advantageous for applications requiring effective heat dissipation, such as electronic devices or heat sinks.

Wear Resistance:

Graphene reinforcement can enhance the wear resistance of the composite, reducing friction and extending the material’s lifespan. This property is particularly beneficial in applications where sliding or abrasive contact occurs, such as automotive components or machinery parts.

Electrical Conductivity:


Graphene’s high electrical conductivity enables the composite material to maintain or even enhance electrical conductivity compared to pure aluminum. This property is valuable for applications that require both mechanical strength and electrical conductivity, such as electrical connectors or heat sinks in electronic devices.


Fatigue Resistance:

Graphene reinforcement can enhance the fatigue resistance of the aluminum matrix. The presence of graphene can prevent crack initiation and propagation, leading to improved durability and longer component lifespan. This property is particularly important in applications subjected to cyclic loading or repeated stress, such as aerospace structures or automotive components.

Corrosion Resistance:

Aluminum is susceptible to corrosion in certain environments. However, the incorporation of graphene reinforcement can provide a protective barrier, reducing the material’s vulnerability to corrosion. This enhanced corrosion resistance makes graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs suitable for applications in corrosive environments, such as marine or chemical industries.

Damping Capacity:

Graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs can exhibit improved damping capacity, which refers to the material’s ability to dissipate mechanical vibrations. This property is valuable in applications where vibration control and noise reduction are essential, such as in automotive suspension systems or aerospace structures.

Joining Capability:

MMCs based on graphene reinforcement and an aluminum matrix can offer good joining capability. They can be successfully welded or bonded using conventional techniques, allowing for the fabrication of complex structures and integration with other components or materials.

Lightweight Design:

One of the primary advantages of aluminum-based composites is their lightweight nature. The incorporation of graphene reinforcement enables the production of lightweight materials with improved mechanical properties, making them desirable for weight-sensitive applications. These composites can contribute to reducing the overall weight of structures, leading to energy savings and increased efficiency.

Sustainability and Environmental Benefits:

The utilization of graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs aligns with the growing focus on sustainability and environmental considerations. These composites offer the potential for reduced material consumption, improved energy efficiency, and increased component lifespan, contributing to a more sustainable manufacturing approach.

Emerging Applications:

Graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs have the potential to find applications in various industries. For example, in the automotive sector, these composites can be used for lightweight body panels, engine components, and suspension systems. In aerospace, they can be employed in aircraft structures, wings, or landing gear components. Additionally, they have promising applications in electronics, such as heat sinks, electrical connectors, or thermal management devices.

Research and Development:


Ongoing research and development efforts continue to explore and optimize the production processes, dispersion techniques, and performance of graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs. These efforts aim to overcome challenges related to scalability, cost-effectiveness, and ensuring consistent properties throughout the material. Continued advancements in this field may lead to the commercialization of these composites for a broader range of applications.

Overall, the combination of graphene reinforcement and an aluminum matrix in MMCs offers a unique set of properties that can benefit multiple industries. These composites present opportunities for lightweight design, improved mechanical performance, enhanced thermal management, and increased durability, positioning them as promising materials for advanced engineering applications.

The specific properties of graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs can be tailored by adjusting the graphene content, dispersion methods, and processing techniques during fabrication. However, challenges remain in achieving uniform dispersion of graphene within the matrix, ensuring strong interfacial bonding between the graphene and aluminum, and scalability of the manufacturing processes.

Despite these challenges, graphene-reinforced aluminum MMCs hold great potential for various applications, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, and thermal management. Their lightweight nature, coupled with enhanced mechanical and thermal properties, makes them attractive for industries seeking improved performance and efficiency in their products. Ongoing research and development efforts aim to further optimize the production processes and explore new applications for these composites.

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