Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Mechanical, Materials & Mechatronic Engineering


Manufacturing aluminium matrix composites with a uniform distribution of the nanoparticles using liquid fabrication methods is a rigorous task, attributed to the high propensity of these nanoparticles to agglomerate.

novel method was proposed in this study for the first time to diminish the agglomeration propensity of SiC nanoparticles using graphene encapsulation process (Chapters 3 and 4). This method was invented based upon two different processing routes, encompassing ball milling and solvo-thermal assisted methods (Chapter 5) to wrap graphene sheets around SiC nanoparticles. As-received and graphene encapsulated SiC nanoparticles were then incorporated into A357 aluminium alloy using semi-solid stir-casting method under high purity (99.999%) argon gas.

To delineate the mechanism by which graphene encapsulating method diminishes the agglomeration of SiC nanoparticles during the liquid processing, a novel theoretical approach based on the van der Waals-Casimir interaction free energy (Chapter 6) was implemented to show the unprecedented capacity of graphene sheets in manipulating the Hamaker constant of SiC nanoparticles. This manipulated Hamaker constant, in turn, stimulates deagglomeration and engulfment of these particles within solidifying matrix...


Thesis by publication

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.