Experimental feasibility of Electrochemical Infiltration of Laser Sintered Preforms

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Goel, Abhishek
Bourell, David

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University of Texas at Austin


This research deals with the experimental feasibility of room temperature infiltration of Selective Laser Sintered preforms with metals. The existing principles of electrochemical deposition techniques were adapted and modified for carrying out the infiltration at low temperatures. Electroless and electrolytic deposition processes were adapted and modified to carry out metal ion infiltration and deposition within interconnected pores. The electrolytic infiltration process was modified by inserting a conductive graphite cathode in the center to draw the positive nickel ions through the interconnected porous network and to deposit them on the pore walls. Forced diffusion method was also attempted by forcing the electrolyte through the preform at high pressures. One of the major benefits of electrochemical infiltration is low processing temperature. 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. This research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Grant CMMI-0926316.


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