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RMIT Reveals Ultrasound Can Increase Strength of Metal 3D Printed Parts

Metal News - Published on Fri, 10 Jan 2020

Image Source: 3D Printing RMIT
A recent development out of the RMIT University’s School of Engineering could lead to improvements in powder-based metal 3D printing, dramatically increasing print consistency. The RMIT research team has discovered that ultrasound technology can be used to create stronger, denser metal parts by essentially shaking powder particles into a tighter formation during the printing process. The breakthrough, recently published in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates how high frequency sound waves can be leveraged to change the inner micro-structure of 3D printed alloys, resulting in better strength and consistency.

In tests, the research team found that titanium parts 3D printing using the ultrasound waves had a 12% improvement in tensile strength and yield stress compared to the same parts made using conventional additive manufacturing.

The study consisted of testing the effects of sound vibrations on two commonly used metal AM powders, a titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V), and a nickel-based super alloy (Inconel 625). Working with these powders, the research team discovered that the ultrasound technology could also be used to change the microscopic structures of specific parts of a single component. This phenomenon, called functional grading, was achieved by simply turning the sound wave generator off and on during the printing process.

Going forward, the research team hopes its innovative breakthrough will inspire other research groups and companies to explore the potential of developing specialized ultrasound machines for metal 3D printing.

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Posted By : Arun Huidrom on Fri, 10 Jan 2020
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