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Degassing Behavior of Nanostructured Al and Its Composites


The synthesis of bulk ultrafine-grained (UFG) and nanostructured Al via cryomilling can frequently require a degassing step prior to consolidation, partly due to the large surface area of the as-milled powders. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects associated with cryomilling with stearic acid additions (as a process-control agent) on the degassing behavior of Al powders. This objective was accomplished by completing select experiments with Al-7.5Mg, Al-6.4 wt pct Al85Ni10La5, and Al-14.3 wt pct B4C. The interaction between Al and stearic acid was determined using thermal analysis combined with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The degassing experiments were carried out under high vacuum (10−4 to ~10−6 torr) in a range from room temperature to 400 °C, with the pressure of the released gases monitored using a digital vacuum gage. The results showed that the liberation of chemisorbed water was suppressed in cryomilled Al powders and both the chemisorbed water and stearic acid were primarily released in the form of hydrogen. It was also demonstrated that under certain conditions, a nanostructure (grain size ~100 nm) can be retained following the hot vacuum degassing of cryomilled Al.

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