Advances in Nanocarbon Metals: Process

Report No. ARL-CR-0763
Authors: P Chris Pistorius and Pengcheng Yan
Date/Pages: March 2015; 24 pages
Abstract: The addition of nanoscale carbon (C) to a variety of metals was developed by Third Millennium Metals and this class of materials has been called covetics. These materials have several unusual mechanical and physical properties, with potential benefits in improved energy efficiency and material performance over a broad range of applications. During this project, a laboratory scale covetic production system was designed and built. This system addressed the 3 distinct reaction steps: 1) C dissolves in copper (Cu), where the temperature is locally higher, 2) supersaturated C precipitates out on the surface of the liquid Cu as graphene sheets, where the temperature is lower, and 3) stirring disperses the graphene sheets into the Cu. The precipitation of C was demonstrated and shown by scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy using an arc melter instead of a high-temperature microscope. The main outcome was that the maximum feasible C content in covetics is the C solubility in the metal at the temperature of the arc hotspot; this maximum is approximately 200 parts per million by mass.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2015