Electrochemical deposition of metal ions in porous laser sintered inter-metallic and ceramic preforms
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Selective laser sintering (SLS) is a commercial, powder-based manufacturing process that produces parts with complicated shape and geometry based on a computer solid model. One of the major drawbacks of SLSed inter-metallic and ceramic parts is their high porosity because of the use of binder system. High porosity results in poor mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of the preform and hence renders it unsuitable for various applications. This thesis attempts to infiltrate SLSed preforms by carrying out electrochemical deposition of metal ions inside the interconnected pore network. One of the major benefits of carrying out this novel process is low processing temperature as opposed to existing methods such as melt infiltration. Low temperature reduces both energy consumption and associated carbon-footprint and also minimizes undesirable structural changes. Both conductive and non-conductive preforms may be electrochemically infiltrated, and MMCs produced by this method have potential for use in structural applications.