SLS Processing of Functionally Gradient Materials

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Jepson, L.
Beaman, J. J.
Bourell, D. L.
Wood, K. L.

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A developing SLS process, known as Multiple Material Selective Laser Sintering, will allow the material composition of a component to be varied in a controlled manner. This process could allow the fabrication of functionally gradient materials (FGMs) in which a blended interface exists. Two potential applications of FGMs are the reduction of thermal stresses in metal/ceramic joints and the matching of material properties to functional requirements. A tungsten carbide/cobalt system has been examined in which the ceramic/metal ratio has been varied in an attempt to control the hardness/fracture resistance _ratio. An FGM powder bed was manually fabricated using a discrete banding technique. Results of traditional SLS processing of this powder bed are presented.


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