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26-09-2020 | Full Research Article | Issue 1/2021

Progress in Additive Manufacturing 1/2021

Preliminary investigation into metal-material extrusion

Journal:
Progress in Additive Manufacturing > Issue 1/2021
Authors:
Shane Terry, Ismail Fidan, Khalid Tantawi

Abstract

Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies provide a method of fabrication that minimizes the production of waste and maximizes part customization. The most common form of this technology is material extrusion (ME) in which material is deposited layer-by-layer to produce a highly customized part. However, this additive production method has experienced difficulty in widespread adoption in metal fabrication due to the inability to produce metallic parts with strong mechanical properties. This study presents some innovations on a new metal-fabrication technique for ME printing that allows for low-cost metal printing. A metal powder polymer composite filament, with a high metal composition, can be printed and sintered to yield a part that is completely metal. Overall, this study provides the initial investigation of the microstructural behavior and the resulting hardness levels. This study found that the metal powder in finished parts is fused by approximately 90% derived from the percent area porosity on a microstructural level. The final hardness of the processed parts is reduced by approximately 60%. Characterizing these properties is the initial step in incorporating ME technology in the field of metal 3D printing.

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