Binder evaporation during powder sheet Additive Manufacturing

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Volpp, J.
Zhang, W.
Abbott, W.
Coban, A.
McConnell, S.
Marola, S.
Casati, R.
Padamati, R.
Lupoi, R.

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University of Texas at Austin


Several Additive Manufacturing methods are well established and found access into regular production in multiple sectors. For processing metals, typically wire or powder is used as feedstock. Wire processing is typically used for comparably large structure building, while powder processes offer, in general, a more precise metal application. For Powder Bed Fusion processes, very fine powder is used (typical 20 µm to 65 µm), while for Directed Energy Deposition powders are in the range between 50 µm and 160 µm. Such fine powders can be a health risk for humans (aspiration, skin integration). Avoiding contact with the powders in a production environment can be a big effort or not avoidable. Therefore, an alternative process was developed that provides the powder not as free powder particles but in form of powder sheets. For enabling the necessary bonding between the particles, a binder is used. In order to understand the impact of the binder during laser processing of the powder sheets, single pulse and line treatments were produced and recorded with high-speed imaging. Recordings show the vaporization of the binder and the related ejections of powder particles. At lower energy input, the binder evaporation led to less spattering, which indicates that a binder heating at low heating rates induces less pressure on the powder particles.


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