Nano-sized TiCx/2009Al composites (with 5, 7, and 9 vol% TiCx) were fabricated via the combustion synthesis of the 2009Al-Ti-CNTs system combined with vacuum hot pressing followed by hot extrusion. In the present study, CNTs were used as the carbon source to synthesize nano-sized TiCx particles. An attempt was made to correlate the effect of ground CNTs by milling and the distribution of synthesized nano-sized TiCx particles in 2009Al as well as the tensile properties of nano-sized TiCx/2009Al composites. Microstructure analysis showed that when ground CNTs were used, the synthesized nano-sized TiCx particles dispersed more uniformly in the 2009Al matrix. Moreover, when 2 h-milled CNTs were used, the 5, 7, and 9 vol% nano-sized TiCx/2009Al composites had the highest tensile properties, especially, the 9 vol% nano-sized TiCx/2009Al composites. The results offered a new approach to improve the distribution of in situ nano-sized TiCx particles and tensile properties of composites.
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