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Research Papers

Laser Additive Manufacturing of Novel Aluminum Based Nanocomposite Parts: Tailored Forming of Multiple Materials

[+] Author and Article Information
Dongdong Gu

College of Materials Science and Technology,
Nanjing University of Aeronautics
and Astronautics (NUAA),
Yudao Street 29,
Nanjing 210016, China;
Institute of Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing),
Nanjing University of Aeronautics
and Astronautics (NUAA),
Yudao Street 29,
Nanjing 210016, China
e-mail: dongdonggu@nuaa.edu.cn

Hongqiao Wang, Donghua Dai

College of Materials Science and Technology,
Nanjing University of Aeronautics
and Astronautics (NUAA),
Yudao Street 29,
Nanjing 210016, China;
Institute of Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing),
Nanjing University of Aeronautics
and Astronautics (NUAA),
Yudao Street 29,
Nanjing 210016, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 21, 2014; final manuscript received March 28, 2015; published online September 9, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Z. J. Pei.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 138(2), 021004 (Sep 09, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: MANU-14-1619; doi: 10.1115/1.4030376 History: Received November 21, 2014

The present study has proved the feasibility to produce the bulk-form TiC/AlSi10Mg nanocomposite parts with the novel reinforcing morphology and enhanced mechanical properties by selective laser melting (SLM) additive manufacturing (AM) process. The influence of linear laser energy density (η) on the microstructural evolution and mechanical performance (e.g., densification level, microhardness, wear and tribological properties) of the SLM-processed TiC/AlSi10Mg nanocomposite parts was comprehensively studied, in order to establish an in-depth relationship between SLM process, microstructures, and mechanical performance. It showed that the TiC reinforcement in the SLM-processed TiC/AlSi10Mg nanocomposites experienced an interesting microstructural evolution with the increase of the applied η. At an elevated η above 600 J/m, a novel regularly distributed ring structure of nanoscale TiC reinforcement was tailored in the matrix due to the unique metallurgical behavior of the molten pool induced by the operation of Marangoni flow. The near fully dense TiC/AlSi10Mg nanocomposite parts (>98.5% theoretical density (TD)) with the formation of ring-structured reinforcement demonstrated outstanding mechanical properties. The dimensional accuracy of SLM-processed parts well met the demand of industrial application with the shrinkage rates of 1.24%, 1.50%, and 1.72% in X, Y, and Z directions, respectively, with the increase of η to 800 J/m. A maximum microhardness of 184.7 HV0.1 was obtained for SLM-processed TiC/AlSi10Mg nanocomposites, showing more than 20% enhancement as compared with SLM-processed unreinforced AlSi10Mg part. The high densification response combined with novel reinforcement of SLM-processed TiC/AlSi10Mg nanocomposite parts also led to the considerably low coefficient of friction (COF) of 0.28 and wear rate of 2.73 × 10−5 mm3 · N−1 · m−1. The present work accordingly provides a fundamental understanding of the tailored forming of lightweight multiple nanocomposite materials system by laser AM.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Typical morphologies of the starting AlSi10Mg powder (a); TiC nanoparticles (b); and the homogeneously mixed TiC/AlSi10Mg powder ((c) and (d))

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Fig. 2

(a) Schematic of SLM process and (b) photograph of SLM-processed TiC/AlSi10Mg nanocomposite parts

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Fig. 3

OM images showing low-magnification microstructures on cross sections of SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts at different linear laser energy densities (η): (a) η = 200 J/m; (b) η = 400 J/m; (c) η = 600 J/m; and (d) η = 800 J/m

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Fig. 4

Variation of densification rates of SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts with the applied linear laser energy density (η)

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Fig. 5

FE-SEM micrographs showing typical dispersion states of TiC reinforcement in SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts using different linear laser energy densities (η): (a) η = 200 J/m; (b) η = 400 J/m; (c) η = 600 J/m; and (d) η = 800 J/m

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Fig. 6

High-magnification FE-SEM images showing characteristic morphologies of TiC reinforcement in SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts at various linear laser energy densities (η): (a) η = 200 J/m; (b) η = 400 J/m; (c) η = 600 J/m; and (d) η = 800 J/m

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Fig. 7

EDX spot-scan analysis showing concentrations of elements collected in different structures in Fig. 6(b): (a) the reinforcing particle and (b) the metal matrix. (c) EDX line-scan analysis showing distributions of elements along arrowhead in Fig. 6(d).

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Fig. 8

Schematic of movement mechanisms of TiC reinforcing particles in the molten pool with an increase of the applied linear laser energy densities (η): (a) η = 200 J/m; (b) η = 400 J/m; and (c) η ≥ 600 J/m

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Fig. 9

Influence of linear laser energy density (η) on dimensional change (shrinkage rate) of SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts as relative to the designed dimensions of the model

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Fig. 10

Microhardness and its distribution on cross sections of SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts using different linear laser energy densities (η)

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Fig. 11

COF (a) and wear rate (b) of SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts with variation of linear laser energy densities (η)

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Fig. 12

FE-SEM images showing characteristic morphologies of worn surfaces of SLM-processed TiC reinforced Al matrix nanocomposite parts at different linear laser energy densities (η): (a) η = 200 J/m; (b) η = 400 J/m; (c) η = 600 J/m; and (d) η = 800 J/m

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Fig. 13

Complex shaped Al-based thin-wall components produced by SLM AM (a) exhibiting the elaborated structures including thin walls (b), fine saw tooth features (c), and sharp angles (d)

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