Steel Parts Produced by Material Extrusion Additive Manufacturing, Solvent Debiding and Sintering




1st Paragraph: Material extrusion additive manufacturing, also known as, fused filament fabrication (FFF) is an economical technology capable of producing metal and ceramic components [1, 2]. MEAM also allows the production of multi-material parts [3]; and it is a complementary technology to powder injection moulding (PIM), since similar feedstocks are used [4]. Both technologies can be grouped in a process referred as Shaping, Debinding and Sintering (SDS). In order to use the SDS process, a highly-filled composite is needed. This composite consists of a blend of thermoplastics, additives and sinterable metallic or ceramic particles [4]. A novel binder was developed and loaded with sinterable powders between 40 to 60 vol.%. The resulting feedstock can be extruded to filaments processable in low-cost FFF machines. It has been demonstrated that the binder can be used with numerous powders including: alumina, cermet, copper, hard-metal, neodymium-iron-boron alloy, titanium, stainless steel and zirconia [4–7]. The binder is partially extracted with solvents, and the parts are then thermally debound and sintered. A schematic representation of the SDS process is shown in Figure 1.

Authors: Joamin Gonzalez-Gutierrez, Yvonne Thompson, Santiago Cano, Peter Felfer, Christian Kukla, and Clemens Holzer

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3 pages


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