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Al-Cu-Mg alloy powder reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets: morphology, flowability and discrete element simulation

Pekok, Mulla Ahmet ORCID:, Setchi, Rossitza ORCID:, Ryan, Michael ORCID:, Gu, Heng, Han, Quanquan and Gu, Dongdong 2022. Al-Cu-Mg alloy powder reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets: morphology, flowability and discrete element simulation. Journal of Manufacturing and Materials Processing 6 (6) , 148. 10.3390/jmmp6060148

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Research in metal matrix composites (MMCs) indicates that superior mechanical properties may be achieved by embedding reinforcement materials. However, the development of new composite powder for additive manufacturing requires an in-depth understanding of its key characteristics prior to its use in the fabrication process. This paper focuses on the low-energy ball milling (LEBM) of aluminium 2024 alloy (AA2024) reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs). The main aim is to investigate the effect of the milling time (from 0.5 to 16 h) on the morphology and flowability of the powder. The study shows that, while short milling times (under 2 h) could not break the Van der WaRals forces between nanoparticles, GNPs were well separated and sufficiently covered the powder surface after 4 h of milling, thanks to the continuously applied impact energy. Longer milling time provides increasingly similar flowability results, confirmed by both the experimental work and discrete element model (DEM) simulations. Moreover, the ball milling process decreases the crystallite size of the milled powder by 24%, leading to a 3% higher microhardness. Lastly, the surface energy of the powder was determined as 1.4 mJ/m2 by DEM, using the angle of repose of the as-received powder from experimental work.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2504-4494
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 17 November 2022
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 08:49

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