Selective laser melting of aluminium metal matrix composite
Famodimu, Omotoyosi H.
Oduoza, Chike F.
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Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is well established as a reliable manufacturing process for its speed of manufacture, resource savings and overall efficiency in processing 'difficult to machine materials' with users able to produce complex parts from various metallic alloys . As the demand stronger and more wear resistant part grow particularly in aerospace and automotive industries, the challenge is then for SLM to produce fully dense homogeneous particulate-reinforced parts from dissimilar materials. Challenges in this instance include differential melting points, morphology of powder particles and homogeneity of the feed material. This work offers a solution to evenly distribute powder particles of dissimilar size reliably across a build platform prior to SLM. It also investigates melting parameters and the microstructure of the resultant parts produced. Results presented demonstrate that there is a significant improvement in delivery of dissimilar sized particles across the build area after alloying of the individual powders to produce a composite powder. Complete melting of the Aluminium alloy was achieved with the SiC solidified in the matrix and increased hardness observed in the composite. Some porosity was observed in the microstructure generated which was considered to be a result of the cooling gradient during the re-solidification of the matrix.
Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Flexible Automation & Intelligent Manufacturing, held May 20-23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, and organized by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, University of Texas at San AntonioIncludes bibliographical references