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A team of researchers led by Professor Ning Li at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China, have discovered a way to scale-up 3D printing of bulk metallic glass (BMG).
With a unique atomic structure, BMG alloys are highly resistant to wear and corrosion while maintaining the melted malleability of glass. However, this strong combination comes at a cost – micro-cracks that occur during 3D printing present a severe disadvantage to BMG utility.
HUST - Professor - Li - Jianji - Zhang
At HUST, Professor Li, Jianji Zhang, Wei Xing, Di Ouyang and Lin Liu have developed composite iron and iron-nickle BMG alloys that suppress these deal-breaking micro-cracks, with findings that provide general guidelines for processing BMGs via selective laser melting (SLM).
Micro-cracks occur in metal 3D printed components due to the high thermal stresses imposed by the melting process. By applying finite element analysis (FEA) to this process, and conducting systematic experiments on 3D printed iron alloys, the HUST team have pinpointed the trigger the points of these stresses.
Researchers - Micro-cracks - Glass - Laser - Melting
As explained by the researchers, “we revealed that micro-cracks in inherently brittle Fe-based metallic glass during selective laser melting (SLM) are triggered by highly concentrated thermal stress around micro-pores, which is difficult to avoid during SLM even by careful process optimization.”
The HUST team’s solution to suppress...
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