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Technical Brief

A Foil-Based Additive Manufacturing Technology for Metal Parts

[+] Author and Article Information
Chen Chen, Yiyu Shen

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
Rolla, MO 65409

Hai-Lung Tsai

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
Rolla, MO 65409
e-mail: tsai@mst.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received March 29, 2016; final manuscript received June 17, 2016; published online August 24, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Z. J. Pei.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 139(2), 024501 (Aug 24, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: MANU-16-1188; doi: 10.1115/1.4034139 History: Received March 29, 2016; Revised June 17, 2016

In this paper, the method, system setup, and procedure of a new additive manufacturing (AM) technology for manufacturing three-dimensional (3D) metal parts are introduced. Instead of using metal powders as in most commercial AM technologies, the new method uses metal foils as feed stock. The procedure consists of two alternating processes: foil-welding by a high-power continuous-wave (CW) laser and foil-cutting by a Q-switched ultraviolet (UV) laser. The foil-welding process involves two subprocesses: laser spot welding and laser raster-scan welding. The reason for using two lasers is to achieve simultaneously the high-speed and high-precision manufacturing. The results on laser foil-welding and foil-cutting show that complete and strong welding bonds can be achieved with determined parameters, and that clean and no-burr/distortion cut of foil can be obtained. Several 3D AISI 1010 steel parts fabricated by the proposed AM technology are presented, and the microhardness and tensile strength of the as-fabricated parts are both significantly greater than those of the original foil.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Apparatus setup for the foil-based laser AM process

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Fig. 2

(a) The top surface and (b) the cross section of a spot weld under the condition of 390 W of laser power and 6 ms of irradiation time

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Fig. 3

(a) The surface morphology of the raster-scan weld, (b) the cross section of a single-line laser foil-welding onto a substrate, (c) the cross section of the raster-scan weld of one-layer foil onto a substrate, and (d) the cross section of a multilayer raster-scan weld

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Fig. 4

(a) The front surface and (b) the rear surface of a cutting edge with laser parameters of 115 μJ pulse energy, 10,000 Hz pulse rate, and 30 mm/min cutting speed

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Fig. 5

As-fabricated samples by the proposed AM technology: (a) a model of St.Louis arch, (b) a logo of Missouri University of Science and Technology, (c)acylinder with gradient lateral surfaces, and (d) a sensor-embedded cylinder with rotating gradient lateral surfaces

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Fig. 6

Stress–strain curves of as-fabricated parts with tension exerted in the (a) horizontal and (b) vertical directions

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