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Aluminium strengthening with carbon?

  1. Oct 13, 2011 #1
    Aluminium strengthening with carbon??

    Hi ,

    Is it possible to strengthen aluminium with interstitial strengthening by carbon?I couldn't find any aluminium alloy with carbon content.What is the problem behind alloying of carbon with aluminium?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2011 #2
    Re: Aluminium strengthening with carbon??

    Carbon is not very soluble in aluminium. In fact, the standard refinement process for aluminium uses carbon electrodes electrolyzing molten alumina, and if it had significant solubility you would not be able to use this process.

    I guess you could try ion implantation - but that would be a very expensive process!
  4. Oct 13, 2011 #3


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    Re: Aluminium strengthening with carbon??

    Al and C do not form a thermodynamically stable compound.

    See - Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys

    Aluminum Alloys – Effects of Alloying Elements

    See also - http://www.keytometals.com/page.aspx?ID=Articles&LN=EN
    The Basics of Nonferrous Metallurgy

    Aluminum - Lithium Alloys
    High Strength Aluminum P/M Alloys
    Resistance to Fracture of AlZnMgCu (AA7000) High Strength Aluminum Alloys
    Surface Treatment Of Aluminum And Aluminum Alloys
    Aluminum – Copper Alloys
    Aluminum-Magnesium-Silicon (6000) Alloys
    Aluminum-Magnesium (5000) Alloys
    Aluminum-Zinc-Magnesium Alloys
    Aluminum–Silicon Alloys
    Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys Casting Problems
    Sintered Aluminum Powder (SAP)
    High Strength Aluminum P/M Alloys
    How Deformation Affects the Mechanical Properties of Aluminum Forgings
    Metallurgical Factors Affecting High Strength Aluminum Alloy Production
    Aluminum Alloy 7075: The Relation between Microstructure and Toughness
    The Effect of Ingot Processing on Fatigue Properties of 7475-T6 Plates
    Rapidly Solidified Aluminum Alloys
    Hot Forming of Al-Mg Alloy Sheet
    The Influence of Microstructure on High Temperature Properties of 2024 Alloy
    Work Hardening Aluminum Alloys: Part One
    Work Hardening Aluminum Alloys: Part Two
    Microalloying of Advanced Al-Zn-Mg-Cu Alloy
    Ballistic Protection Efficiency of Aluminum Alloys
    Melting and Alloying Aluminum Alloys
    Formability Tests of 2036-T4 Aluminum Alloy: Part One
  5. Oct 14, 2011 #4
    Re: Aluminium strengthening with carbon??

    I think it does. Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_carbide

    The formation of aluminum carbide suggests why carbon nanotubes (probably the MWNT types) might be a superior reinforcing fiber for aluminum due to the potential for high interface strength between the fibers and the aluminum matrix.
  6. Oct 15, 2011 #5


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    Re: Aluminium strengthening with carbon??

    Perhaps I am using the wrong terminology, but I was thinking about the fact that "Aluminium carbide hydrolyses with evolution of methane. The reaction proceeds at room temperature but is rapidly accelerated by heating." [from the Wikipedia article] Perhaps chemically unstable in the presence of water is a better statement.
  7. Oct 15, 2011 #6
    Re: Aluminium strengthening with carbon??

    Aluminum carbide is a thermodynamically stable compound in that it occupies a lower energy level than the aluminum and carbon reactants from which it forms, or the reaction would not proceed.

    Aluminum carbide is a thermodynamically unstable compound with respect to the potential reaction products when exposed to water. As is aluminum itself unstable with respect to atmospheric oxygen under normal ambient temperature, with the metal's apparent stability owing to the immediate formation of a thin, protective oxide layer that terminates the oxidation reaction.

    I took the sense of your statement to mean that aluminum could not form a carbide. It clearly does, and the compound shows no tendency to spontaneously decompose. Thus with regard to the OP's original question about alloying aluminum with carbon, I think it is accurate to say (1) aluminum can form a persistent carbide and (2) that compound would be stable intermixed with aluminum.
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