TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 927/2009
By G Friend and A Gunner
Additive manufacturing is attracting increasing industrial interest, due to its facility for reducing manufacturing lead time and cost, since a component may be manufactured directly which is fit for purpose. The use of additive manufacturing of ceramic materials has, to date, been restricted to the printing of two dimensional structures (with the exception of academic work investigating three dimensional inkjet printing). More work has been performed with metallic deposits, prepared by techniques including weld overlay, however more recently laser direct metal deposition (DMD) has been the subject of considerable interest, due to its capacity to deposit a fully dense, non-porous metallic microstructure with mechanical properties comparable to the parent material.
This technique has been shown to be particularly suitable for the deposition of metals but no reports have been identified indicating attempts to deposit ceramic materials. If laser DMD facilities can be used to lay down such deposits then the technique could potentially occupy a position as a complementary manufacturing method to conventional powder pressing and sintering, being particularly well suited to intricate components. Some specific potential applications could include the repair of glass and ceramic components, hermetic sealing in glass and ceramic electronics packaging and the manufacture of micro-fluidic devices or turbine components.
This report describes a work programme conducted to assess the feasibility of producing glass and ceramic structures using laser DMD facilities.
The overarching aim was to determine whether it was feasible to deposit glass and ceramic structures onto similar substrates using the TWI Trumpf DMD505 laser deposition system. The specific objectives were:
- Evaluate the suitability of the Trumpf DMD505 laser deposition system for the deposition of ceramic materials.
- Determine the suitability of a number of commercially available ceramic powders for use with the powder feed system.
- Establish provisional processing parameters for the deposition of a number of ceramic materials.