Materials Science of Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing via selected laser melting (SLM) is a promising fabrication technique that can enable unique alloy design pathways due to rapid heating and solidification. This group aims to exploit such process characteristics of SLM to achieve refined micro and nanostructures that will in turn enhance the mechanical and physical performance of complex 3D architectures in both static and dynamic loading conditions.
Additive manufacturing has become a ubiquitous material fabrication tool to leverage digital design, rapid production and individualization, and the research vision of the group is to use the selective laser melting (SLM) technique as a multifaceted tool for novel materials design. The first research focus of the group will be tailored alloy development towards achieving specific microstructure and material properties, using small-scale customized powder development and novel alloy concepts. Specifically, a laboratory-scale powder development system will be implemented to obtain SLM powders from pre-selected custom-cast alloys. Examples of material concepts under current investigation are stiff- and light high modulus steels for lightweight applications, magnetic and fuel cell materials, as well as metal-matrix composites produced by reactive atmosphere based SLM.
The second key area of research will be on optimization of the microstructure and processing parameters to specific 3D topologies such as lattices. This will be accomplished via a systematic investigation to obtain the microstructure-architecture-property relationships of the fabricated architectures. Specific focus will also be on microstructure evolution after rate-dependent mechanical characterization and after post-processing using annealing and surface treatments.