Rapid Prototyping of Functional Metal and Ceramic Components By The Multiphase Jet Solidification (MJS) Process
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The need to generate high-quality conceptual models ofmanufacturing components and limited application functional components has driven the development ofRapid Prototyping (RP) in the last fifteen years. Recently, however, it has become increasingly obvious that an RP system that can produce fully functional components in materials other than polymers would be beneficial. In order to fulfill the requirements for the direct production ofmetallic and ceramic components for functional testing and application, the development ofnew processes and materials are key development areas at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Materials Research (IFAM) and the Fraunhofer Resource Center-Delaware (FRC-DE). For the free-form fabrication of ceramic and metal parts, the Multiphase Jet Solidification (MJS) process has been developed for producing metal and ceramic components. The MJS process extrudes metal and ceramic based binder systems (such as A120 3, SiC, stainless steel, and Ti), forming the desired component layer by layer. As in powder injection molding, after a part is formed by MJS, the binder phase is removed chemically or thermally and the remaining powder compact is sintered to final density. This paper presents the MJS technique and outlines a variety ofpotential applications.