Wetting behavior between molten AlTi6 alloy and nanoporous carbon substrate (carbon nanotubes paper) was investigated by a sessile drop method in vacuum at 800, 900, and 1000 °C. In order to avoid the effect of native oxide film on metal sample, an advanced capillary purification technique coupled with non-contact heating was applied. The AlTi6 drop did not wet the MWCNT paper immediately after deposition on the substrate at 800 °C, forming a contact angle of θ = 153°. The increase in temperature up to 900 °C and holding the system for 15 min also did not affect the contact angle (θ = 153 ± 1). Further heating above 930 °C at a rate of 5 °C/min caused a gradual lowering of contact angle down to ~130° and after about 10-min interaction at 1000 °C, it reached the final value of 123°. Structural investigations of solidified sessile drop AlTi6/MWCNT couple by scanning and transmission electron microscopy showed that high-temperature interaction between MWCNTs and molten AlTi6 alloy is accompanied with liquid metal infiltration of MWCNT substrate, fragmentation of MWCNTs, and formation of TiC in the form of rod-like crystallites and fine particles uniformly distributed in the metal matrix. The mechanism of MWCNT→TiC transformation in the AlTi6/MWCNT system by high-temperature liquid-assisted process is discussed.
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