Ag–CdO composites are still one of the most commonly used electrical contact materials in low-voltage applications owing to their excellent electrical and mechanical properties. Nevertheless, considering the restriction on using Cd due to its toxicity, it is necessary to find alternative materials that can replace these composites. In this study, the synthesis of Ag−ZnO alloys from Ag−Zn solid solutions was investigated by hot mechanochemical processing. The hot mechanochemical processing was conducted in a modified attritor mill at 138 °C under flowing O 2 at 1200 cm 3 /min for 3.0 h. The microstructure and phase evolution were investigated using X-ray diffractometry, field emission gun scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The results suggest that it is possible to complete the oxidation of Ag−Zn solid solution by hot mechanochemical processing at a low temperature and short time. This novel synthesis route can produce Ag−ZnO composites with a homogeneous distribution of nanoscale ZnO precipitates, which is impossible to achieve using the conventional material processing methods. Considering the fact that the fundamental approach to improving electric contact material performance resides in obtaining uniform dispersion of the second-phase in the Ag matrix, this new processing route could open the possibility for Ag−ZnO composites to replace non-environmentally friendly Ag−CdO.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China (English Edition)|
|State||Published - Feb 2019|
- electrical contact material
- powder synthesis