LIQUID METAL JETTING OF ALUMINUM PARTS WITH SALT SUPPORT STRUCTURES

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Date

2023

Authors

Kirchebner, Benedikt
Weidner, Christoph
Ploetz, Maximilian
Rehekampff, Christoph
Volk, Wolfram
Lechner, Philipp

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University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

Liquid metal jetting (LMJ) bears the potential of being a fast part manufacturing technology while using a cheap raw material. LMJ is a subtype of material jetting (MJT) and the parts are built by successively depositing droplets of molten metal onto a build platform. For full 3D capability, support structures are necessary, which must be removed in subsequent processes. In previous investigations, we proposed the usage of water-soluble salt as a support material, selected a suitable salt, and analyzed the influence of this material on aluminum parts made in LMJ. The present work shows a duplex MJT print head for processing aluminum alloys and KClNaCl salt. Various printing sequences and support structure strategies are compared. The results show that the sequence of printing aluminum and salt is crucial. Furthermore, using thin layers of the support material as a release layer appears promising.

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