Towards large scale preparation of graphene in molten salts and its use in the fabrication of highly toughened alumina ceramics
Highly crystalline graphene nanosheets were reproducibly generated by the electrochemical exfoliation of graphite electrodes in molten LiCl containing protons. The graphene product has been successfully applied in several applications. This paper discusses the effect of molten salt produced graphene on the microstructures and mechanical properties of alumina articles produced by slip casting and pressureless sintering, which is one of the most convenient methods for the commercial production of alumina ceramics. In addition to graphene, graphite powder and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were also used to prepare alumina articles for comparative purposes. A graphene strengthening effect was realized through microstructural refinement and by influencing the formation of alumina nanorods during the sintering of α-Al2O3 articles. The fracture toughness of the sintered alumina articles increased to an impressive value of 6.98 MPa m1/2 by adding 0.5 wt% graphene nanosheets. This was attributed to the unique microstructure obtained, comprised of micrometer sized alumina grains separated by alumina nanorods.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Liquid Salts for Energy and Materials