Study of the interaction of various build plate materials with deposited liquid aluminium (already assigned to a student)

Additive manufacturing (AM) consists of the fabrication of parts layer-by-layer or point-by-point. The most common AM processes designed to build metallic parts use high energy sources such as a laser, an electron beam or a plasma, generally to melt and solidify powder. This allows the manufacturing of complex and bespoke geometries; however, the high-power consumption of these energy sources generates an elevated carbon footprint and results in complex and turbulent melt pool dynamics, which can induce defects such as porosity. A less turbulent and less energy-intensive additive manufacturing technology is currently under development at LMM. Metallic wire is fed through a nozzle and melted in order to produce a small pendant drop which bonds and solidifies onto the previous manufactured layer, as is now practiced with thermoplastic polymers in FDM (Fusion Deposition Modelling). An added feature of the method is that it uses a magnetic field to influence the flow and solidification path of the liquid metal.

A key element in the process is the build plate where the first molten metal line is deposited and to which it should adhere. This project is centred on engineering and improving the material of the build plate. The goal of the project will more specifically be to select several interesting materials for this build plate such as tin (which has a low melting point) in order to obtain melting of the substrate when the first layer is deposited, or steel (which has a higher melting point) in order to be able to increase the melting temperature of the substrate. Then, the student will study the adhesion between the substrate and the deposited molten metal, the microstructure of the first line as well as the potential intermetallic contamination due to the build plate material.

Project supervisors: Xiaojiao You, William Le Bas and Julie Gheysen
Contact: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]