Background: Despite of the fact that nanocarbon can effectively improve mechanical
properties and reduce mass density of Cu-matrix composites, there are lacking comprehensive reviews
on preparation and properties of nanocarbon-reinforced Cu-matrix composites synthesized
with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) or graphene nanoplates (GNPs). This review presents research on
interfaces between nanocarbon/Cu and strengthening mechanisms of nanocarbon-reinforced Cumatrix
composites, and existing problems in the research on these nanocomposites.
Methods: Research articles in open literature related to nanocarbon-reinforced Cu-matrix composites
were critically reviewed. Original research on this topic was also presented in this article.
Results: Research results have shown that Cu-matrix composite materials have advantages of high
strengths while retaining sufficient thermal and electrical conductivities. Nanocarbon can effectively
improve mechanical properties, and reduce mass density of the Cu-matrix composites. Effective
mechanical lock is formed between nanocarbon and Cu matrix, which enhances the properties of the
composites. Since CNTs and GNPs have different characteristics, and consequently, Cu matrix can
be enhanced to maintain its high conductivity, high mechanical properties and high wear resistance.
Conclusion: Nanocarbon-reinforced Cu-matrix composites have been studied for the new energy
applications, and these composites possess the potentials to reach the requirements for being light
weighted and with enhanced mechanical and physical properties. Designed nanocarbon-reinforced
Cu-matrix composites should satisfy application and environmental requirements in the new energy
field with enhanced mechanical, physical and chemical properties.