Low-Cost Manufacturing of Metal-Ceramic Composites through Electrodeposition of Metal into Ceramic Scaffold
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Infiltration of a molten metal phase into a ceramic scaffold to manufacture metal-ceramic composites often involves high temperature, high pressure, and expensive processes. Low-cost processes for fabrication of metal-ceramic composites can substantially increase their applications in various industries. In this article, electroplating (electrodeposition) as a low-cost, room-temperature process is demonstrated for infiltration of metal (copper) into a lamellar ceramic (alumina) scaffold. Estimation shows that this is a low energy consumption process. Characterization of mechanical properties showed that metal infiltration enhanced the flexural modulus and strength by more than 50% and 140%, respectively, compared to the pure lamellar ceramic. More importantly, metal infiltration remarkably enhanced the crack initiation and crack growth resistance by more than 230% and 510% compared to the lamellar ceramic. The electrodeposition process for development of metal-ceramic composites can be extended to other metals and alloys that can be electrochemically deposited, as a low-cost and versatile process.
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