Additive Manufacturing Material Extrusion processes have actually been in existence since the 1980’s and offer a rapid prototyping method to reduce the cost of an otherwise expensive field.
AM-ME can also be known by a number of other names including Direct Ink Writing or DIW, Fused Filament Fabrication or FFF, Extrusion Freeform Fabrication or EFF to name but a few.
Generally there is a huge application of powder metallurgy produced parts, especially in the automotive industry.
The complexity of these parts however can mean that through the presence of pores crack propagation can be a very real problem which needs to be addressed through various alloying and process techniques. Continue reading
Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) is a sintering technique which is well matched to mechanically milled materials such as tool steels due to its low temperature and short cycle time.
Tool steels have been specifically manufactured to exhibit exceptionally high strain hardening, a characteristic which can be undone by high temperature sintering processes such as hot isostatic pressing. Continue reading
The SPS process is expected to find increased use in the fabrication of functionally graded materials (FGMs), intermetallic compounds, fiber reinforced ceramics (FRC), metal matrix composites (MMC) and nano crystalline materials, which are difficult to sinter by conventional sintering methods.
The major interest in this process, when the sintering parameters have been mastered, is linked to the extreme rapidity of the thermal treatment.