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Approaching Carbon Nanotube Reinforcing Limit in B4C Matrix Composites Produced by Chemical Vapor Infiltration

Authors

  • Kaiyuan Li,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
    2. National Key Laboratory of Thermostructure Composite Materials, Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xi'an, Shanxi, China
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  • Yingchao Yang,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
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  • Zhanjun Gu,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
    2. Laboratory for Bio-Environmental Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Jane Y. Howe,

    1. Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA
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  • Gyula Eres,

    1. Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA
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  • Litong Zhang,

    1. National Key Laboratory of Thermostructure Composite Materials, Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xi'an, Shanxi, China
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  • Xiaodong Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
    • Xiaodong Li, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, ColumbiaSC29208USA

      Zhengwei Pan, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Engineering, University of Georgia, AthensGA30602USA

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  • Zhengwei Pan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
    • Xiaodong Li, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, ColumbiaSC29208USA

      Zhengwei Pan, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Engineering, University of Georgia, AthensGA30602USA

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  • Z.W.P. acknowledges funding by NSF (CAREER DMR-0955908). K.Y.L. thanks the financial support from the China Scholarship Council. G.E. acknowledges funding by the Materials Science Division, Office of Basic Energy Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The microscopy work was sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Shared Research Equipment (ShaRE) User Program, which is sponsored by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. DOE. Supporting Information is available from the Wiley Online Library or from the author.

Abstract

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Toughening ceramics has been a long-standing challenge. By chemically infiltrating B4C into aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) sheets, we fabricate a novel CNT/B4C composite with a fracture strength approaching the theoretical maximum of B4C matrix. The CNT/B4C composites simultaneously possess a strongly bonded tube/matrix interface and an amorphous, crack-free B4C matrix. The fracture strength of the CNT/B4C nanowires is about 1–2 orders of magnitude higher than that of the bulk B4C.

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