Recent Developments in Extrusion Freeform Fabrication (EFF) Utilizing Non-Aqueous Gel Casting Formulations

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Hilmas, Greg E.
Lombardi, John L.
Hoffman, Robert A.
Stuffle, Kevin

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Extrusion Freeform Fabrication (EFF) was shown to be an extremely versatile method for fabricating Functionally Graded Materials (FGMs) The approach is inexpensive and potentially feasible for grading between any thermodynamically compatible ceramic-metal, ceramic-ceramic, or metal-metal material combination. Several material systems were investigated in this study including alumina-304 stainless steel, zirconia-304 stainless steel, alumina-Inconel 625, zirconiaInconel625, alumina-nickel aluminide, zirconia-nickel aluminide, titanium carbide-InconeI625, titanium diboride-nickel aluminide, and tungsten carbide-nickel aluminide. A controlled gradient was demonstrated between the end members for all of the above compositions. The FGMs were hot pressed to achieve near theoretical densities, providing flexural strengths as high as 1000 MPa for the zirconia-304 stainless steel FGM. The FGM systems developed in this program have a wide variety of potential commercial and government applications including cutting tools and other components requiring wear resistant surfaces, aircraft engine and automotive engine components, light and heavy armor systems, and electrical insulators and heat-sinks for the electronics industry, to name a few


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