Carbon Nanotubes: Application in Carbon Containing Refractories

Yawei Li, Ming Luo

Wuhan University of Science and Technology, The Key State Laboratory Breeding Base of Refractories and Ceramics, 430081 Wuhan/China

Revision 31.03.2012, 16.07.2012

Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 117 - 125


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) possess many unique mechanical properties and are considered as a new carbon source to develop high-performance carbon containing refractories. However, the problems with CNTs are involved in that they can easily transform into ceramic phases or be oxidized at high temperatures and difficult to homogeneously disperse in the matrix when they are incorporated into carbon containing refractories. Some research work has been carried out to solve the problems mentioned above in the present paper. Firstly, the microstructural evolution of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in the presence of different silicon sources such as silicon powder (Si), mixture of aluminium and silica powders (Al+SiO2) and mixture of silicon and silica powders (Si+SiO2) was studied in a coke bed in the temperature range from 1000–1500 °C. Secondly, the coating technology was adopted to form ceramic phases on the surface of MWCNTs using polycarbosilane (PCS) as precursor in order to improve their oxidation resistance. Thirdly, in-situ formation of CNTs in the Al2O3-C matrixes by the pyrolysis of phenolic resin was studied to make them homogeneous dispersion in the matrix. Finally, the influence of in-situ formed CNTs and ceramic whiskers on the mechanical properties of Al2O3-C refractories was studied after coking from 800 to 1400 °C.


CNTs, microstructural evolution, coating, in situ, carbon containing refractories


[1] Treacy, M.M.J.; Ebbesen, T.W.; Gibson, J.M.: Exceptionally high young’s modulus observed for individual carbon nanotube. Nature 381 (1996) 678–680


[2] Yu, M.F.; et al.: Strength and breaking mechanism of multiwalled carbon nanotubes under tensile load. Science 287 (2000) 637–640


[3] Kaleem, A.; Pan, W.: Effect of multi-walled carbon nanotube on mechanical properties and electrical conductivity of alumina. Rare Metal. Mat. Eng. 36 (2007) [1] 704–706


[4] Morisada, Y.; et al.: Mechanical properties of SiC composites incorporating SiC-coated multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard. Mater. 25 (2006) 322–327


[5] Wang, J.; et al.: Reinforcement of mullite matrix with multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Ceram. Int. 33 (2007) 719–722


[6] Estili, M.; Kawasaki, A.: An approach to massproducing individually alumina-decorated multi-walled carbon nanotubes with optimized and controlled compositions. Scripta. Mater. 58 (2008) 906–909


[7] Bi, S.; et al.: Microstructural characterization of alumina-coated multi-walled carbon nanotubes synthesized by hydrothermal crystallization. Physica. B. 405 (2010) 3312–3315


[8] Bi, Song.; et al.: Mechanical properties and oxidation resistance of alumina/multi-walled carbon nanotube composite ceramics. Mater. Sci. Eng. A. 528 (2011) 1596–1601


[9] Zhu, Y.F.; et al.: Synthesis of zirconia nanoparticles on carbon nanotubes and their potential for enhancing the fracture toughness of alumina ceramics. Composites. 39 (2008) 1136– 1141


[10] Flashaut, E.; et al.: Carbon nanotube-metaloxide nanocompos-ites: microstructure, electrical conductivity and mechanical properties. Acta. Material. 48 (2000) 3803–3812


[11] Balazsi, C.S.; et al.: Preparation and character- ization of carbon nanotube reinforced silicon nitride composites. Mater. Sci. Eng. A. 23 (2003) [68] 1133–1137


[12] Illekova, E.; Csomorova, K.: Kinetics of oxidation in various forms of carbon. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 80 (2005) 103–108


[13] Xu, C.L.; Wei, B.Q.: Fabrication of aluminumcarbon nanotube composites and their electrical properties. Carbon. 37 (1999) 855–858


[14] Tatami, J.; et al.: Electrically conductive CNTdispersed silicon nitride ceramics. J. Amer. Ceram. Soc. 88 (2005) [10] 2889–2893


[15] Zhang, S.C.; et al.: Pressureless sintering of carbon nanotube-Al2O3 composites. J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 30 (2010) 1373–1380


[16] Yamamoto, G.; et al.: A novel structure for carbon nanotube reinforced alumina composites with improved mechanical properties. Nanotechnology 19 (2008) 1–7


[17] Luo, M.; et al.: Research and outlook of carbon nanotubes reinforced ceramic matrix composites. Mater. Rev. 24 (2010) 155–158


[18] Fan, H.B.; Li; Y.W.; Sang, S.B.: Microstructures and mechanical properties of Al2O3-C refractories with silicon additive using different carbon sources. Mater. Sci. Eng. A. 528 (2011) 3177– 3185


[19] Luo, M.; et al.: Reaction mechanism between silicon-containing gaseous species and multiwalled carbon nanotubes at high temperature. J. Chin. Ceram. Soc. 39 (2011) [8] 1295–1300


[20] Li, Y.W.; et al.: Microstructural evolution of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in the presence of mixture of silicon and silica powders at high temperatures. Ceram. Int. doi:10.1016/ j.ceramint.2012.01.068


[21] Li, Y.W.; et al.: Microstructural evolution and oxidation resistance of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in the presence of mixture of silicon powder at high temperatures. J. Mater. Sci. Technol. (accepted for publication)


[22] Luo, M.; et al.: Oxidation resistance of multiwalled carbon nanotubes coated with polycarbosilane- derived SiCxOy ceramic. Ceram. Int. 37 (2011) 3055–3062


[23] Resende, V.G.; et al.: Catalytic chemical vapor deposition synthesis of single and double-walled carbon nanotubes from a-(Al1–xFex)2O3 powders and self-supported foams. Carbon. 47 (2009) 482–492


[24] Li, H.P.; et al.: Dispersion of carbon nanotubes in hydroxyapatite powder by in situ chemical vapor deposition. Mater. Sci. Eng. B. 166 (2010) 19–23


[25] Liu, B.Q.; et al.: In situ growth of TiC whiskers in Al2O3 matrix for ceramic machine tools. Ceram. Int. 33 (2007) 1475–1480


[26] Jung, W.S.; Hyeong, U.J.: Catalytic growth of aluminum nitride whiskers by a modified carbo- thermal reduction and nitridation method. J. Cryst. Growth. 285 (2005) 566–571


[27] Huang, F.P.; et al.: Prefabrication of SiC whiskers through induction of carbon fiber. Trans. Nonferrous Met. Soc. China. 16 (2006) 483– 487


[28] Luo, M.; et al.: Microstructures and mechanical properties of Al2O3-C refractories with addition of multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Mater. Sci. Eng. A. 548 (2012) 134-141


[29] Mukhopadhyay, A.; et al.: Understanding the mechanical reinforcement of uniformly dispersed multiwalled carbon nanotubes in alumino- borosilicate glass ceramic. Acta. Mater. 58 (2010) 2685–2697


[30] Peigney, A.; et al.: Toughening and hardening in double-walled carbon nanotube/nanostructured magnesia composites. Carbon 48 (2010) 1952–1960


[31] Nakayama, A.; et al.: In-situ observation of structural change in MWCNTs under high-pressure H2 gas atmosphere. Diamond. Relat. Mater. 17 (2008) 548–551


[32] Wei, T.; Fan, Z.J.; Luo, G.H.: The effect of carbon nanotubes microstructures on reinforcing properties of SWNTs/alumina composite. Mater. Res. Bull. 43 (2008) 2806–2809


[33] Khezrabadi, M.N.: The effect of additives on the properties and microstructures of Al2O3-C refractories. J. Mater. Sci. 41 (2006) 3027– 3032


Göller Verlag GmbH