Experimental Investigation of Fluid-Particle Interaction in Binder Jet 3D Printing

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Wagner, Joshua J.
Shu, Hang
Kilambi, Rahul
Higgs, C. Fred III

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University of Texas at Austin


Wide-scale adoption of binder jet 3D printing for mission-critical components in aerospace, biomedical, defense, and energy applications requires improvement in mechanical properties and performance characteristics of end-use components. Increased fidelity may be achieved with better understanding of the interfacial physics and complex fluid-particle interactions fundamental to the process. In this work, an experimental testing apparatus and procedure is developed to investigate the fluid and particle dynamics occurring upon impact of jetted binder droplets onto a powder bed. High-speed, microscopic imaging is employed to capture short time-scale phenomena such as ballistic particle ejection, capillary flow, and particle clustering. The effects of different process parameters (e.g., translational printhead velocity, jetting frequency, and impact velocity) on the dynamics of Inconel powder are studied. These experiments reveal that the fluid-particle interaction is significantly affected by a combination of printing parameters, ultimately governing the quality and performance of binder jet 3D printed components.


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