In situ synthesis of nanostructured carbon reinforcement in aluminum powders
A novel approach was developed to obtain uniformly dispersed nanostructured carbon reinforcement in aluminum matrix composite powders. This process involves in situ synthesis of carbon nanoflakes (CNFs) with thickness of 30–50 nm on the surface of aluminum powders through Friedel–Crafts alkylation of benzene under its supercritical conditions, at 300 °C and 5.7 MPa with benzene and C2Cl6 as carbon sources, and AlCl3 as catalyst. In this process, all the reactants and catalyst are in gaseous state, which play an important role in inducing homogeneous reaction and dispersion of the CNFs. Meanwhile, Al powders play an important role in inducing the morphology of the CNFs by providing the heterogeneous nucleation sites.