Rapid Prototyping of Mg/SiC Composites by a Combined SLS and Pressureless Infiltration Process

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Wohlert, Martin
Bourell, David

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The expanding market for metal matrix composites (MMCs) presents a unique niche application for rapid prototyping I manufacturing. MMCs are well suited to RP for two reasons. First, these relatively new high performance materials are largely used in high cost, low production applications which are easily accommodated by RP techniques. Second, the hard and brittle ceramic reinforcement phases used in MMCs add cost and complexity to traditional production methods. Special tools or processes are required to machine these materials, and the cost and design limitations imposed by the production of a mold limit the competitiveness of casting [1,2]. In comparison, the additive nature of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) avoids the problems associated with machining of the ceramic phase, and the wide range of geometries which can be produced ensures the versatility of the process.


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