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Research Article | Open Access

Influence of nano-mechanical evolution of Ti3AlC2 ceramic on the arc erosion resistance of Ag-based composite electrical contact material

Xuelian Wu1,Chengzhe Wu1,Xinpeng Wei1Wanjie Sun1Chengjian Ma2Yundeng Zhang1Gege Li1Liming Chen1Dandan Wang3Peigen Zhang4( )Zhengming Sun1,4( )Jianxiang Ding1( )
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Anhui University of Technology, Ma’anshan 243032, China
Analytical and Testing Center, Yancheng Institute of Technology, Yancheng 224051, China
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Changzhou University, Changzhou 213164, China
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Metallic Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, China

Xuelian Wu and Chengzhe Wu contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract


Al-containing MAX phase ceramic has demonstrated great potential in the field of high-performance low-voltage electrical contact material. Elucidating the anti-arc erosion mechanism of the MAX phase is crucial for further improving performance, but it is not well-understood. In this study, Ag/Ti3AlC2 electrical contact material was synthesized by powder metallurgy and examined by nanoindentation techniques such as constant loading rate indentation, creep testing, and continuous stiffness measurements. Our results indicated a gradual degradation in the nano-mechanical properties of the Ti3AlC2 reinforcing phase with increasing arc erosion times, although the rate of this degradation appeared to decelerate over arc erosion times. Specifically, continuous stiffness measurements highlighted the uneven mechanical properties within Ti3AlC2, attributing this heterogeneity to the phase’s decomposition. During the early (1–100 times) and intermediate (100–1000 times) stages of arc erosion, the decline in the nano-mechanical properties of Ti3AlC2 was primarily ascribed to the decomposition of Ti3AlC2 and limited surface oxidation. During the later stage of arc erosion (1000–6200 times), the inner region of Ti3AlC2 also sustained arc damage, but a thick oxide layer formed on its surface, enhancing the mechanical properties and overall arc erosion resistance of the Ag/Ti3AlC2.



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Journal of Advanced Ceramics
Pages 176-188
Cite this article:
Wu X, Wu C, Wei X, et al. Influence of nano-mechanical evolution of Ti3AlC2 ceramic on the arc erosion resistance of Ag-based composite electrical contact material. Journal of Advanced Ceramics, 2024, 13(2): 176-188.








Web of Science






Received: 26 September 2023
Revised: 24 November 2023
Accepted: 06 December 2023
Published: 31 January 2024
© The Author(s) 2024.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0,