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Partic. vol. 40 pp. 177-182 (October 2018)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2017.10.011

Short communication

Surface coating copper powder with carbon nanotubes using traditional and stirred ball mills under various experimental conditions

Amgalan Bora,b, Battsetseg Jargalsaikhana,b, Jehyun Leea,b, Heekyu Choib,c,*

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    • CNTs coating on Cu powder was performed in two types of ball mills. • CNTs coating on Cu powder was obtained at low rotation speed. • Cracks formed on the Cu particle surface during ball milling process.


We investigated the effect of the raw powder properties of carbon nanotube surface coatings on metal powder, with the goal of obtaining high-quality nanocomposites. The mechanical dry coating technique was used to fabricate CNT coatings (guest particles) on the surface of copper (Cu, host) particles using a traditional ball mill and a stirred ball mill. The coatings were produced under various experimental conditions (varying rotation speed and grinding duration, with a ball diameter of 5 mm), and the effect of these conditions on the surface of the powder was determined. The coated surfaces were characterized using scanning electron microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy. We compared prolonged milling (48 h) at a low rotation speed (50 rpm), with a short milling period (12 h) at high rotation speed. We found that for the TBM, successful CNT coating was achieved at 50 rpm over 48 h. In contrast, for the SBM, CNT coatings were obtained after a short milling period (12 h) at low rotation speed (50 rpm).

Graphical abstract


Nanocomposites; Traditional ball mill; Stirred ball mill; Particle coating; Carbon nanotube (CNT)