An Exploration of Binder Jetting of Copper
The ability to fabricate geometrically complex copper shapes via Additive Manufacturing (AM) could have a significant impact on the design and performance of thermal management systems and structural electronics. In this research a Binder Jetting AM process (ExOne R2) was used to fabricate green parts made of high purity copper powder. Once printed, the green part was sintered under a reducing atmosphere to create copper parts in pure metal form. The authors varied (i) powder size, (ii) sintering profiles, and (iii) atmospheric control to explore their effects on final part density and shrinkage. The sintered part density was 85% of the theoretical value due to the relatively coarse powder and loose packing of the powder bed. The result demonstrates the feasibility of using Binder Jetting to create copper parts with complex geometries.