Additive manufacturing of hybrid sandwich sheets by laser powder bed fusion of metals

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Platt, S.
Schnell, N.
Witt, G.
Kleszczynski, S.

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University of Texas at Austin


In the context of lightweight applications, laser powder bed fusion of metals allows the creation of high-complexity structures at minimal use of material. Traditional elements of lightweight construction are sandwich sheets, which comprise two cover sheets with a fine core structure joined in the centre. Thus, these lightweight elements contain both geometrically simple (cover sheets) and geometrically complex (core structure) elements. Conventional manufacturing of core structures is limited in terms of geometrical freedom. On the other hand, Additive Manufacturing of sheets has disadvantages in terms of economic efficiency. Therefore, a combined process consisting of additive and conventional cost-efficient manufacturing is proposed to eliminate both disadvantages. This publication presents a hybrid manufacturing route to produce metal sandwich sheets. The hybrid sandwich sheets are manufactured using a rolled cover sheet as a base plate and additive manufactured core structures including an upper cover sheet. For this purpose, a recently developed sheet mounting system for implementation in a laser powder bed fusion process is presented and evaluated concerning manufacturing criteria such as process stability and dimensional accuracy of the final components.


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