3D printed breathable mould steel: Small micrometer-sized, interconnected pores by creatively introducing foaming agent to additive manufacturing

Zeng, G, Song, T, Dai, Y, Tang, H and Yan, M 2019, '3D printed breathable mould steel: Small micrometer-sized, interconnected pores by creatively introducing foaming agent to additive manufacturing', Materials and Design, vol. 169, pp. 1-12.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title 3D printed breathable mould steel: Small micrometer-sized, interconnected pores by creatively introducing foaming agent to additive manufacturing
Author(s) Zeng, G
Song, T
Dai, Y
Tang, H
Yan, M
Year 2019
Journal name Materials and Design
Volume number 169
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Additive manufacturing & 3D printing has almost no limitation in realizing any geometry due to its layer-by-layer manufacturing manner, while producing small-sized, interconnected pores is one of its major challenges. In this study, we report that, by creatively combining additive manufacturing with foaming agent, interconnected pores (~26 vol.% porosity) with pore size of 230 μm have been successfully achieved. One of the most important applications of such unique structure is for developing the so-called breathable mould steel. Breathability is rather demanding for the mould industry, since it is capable to eliminate the trapped, detrimental gas during injection moulding and therefore much improve the quality of as-injected parts. It will be revealed by the study that, due to a good selection of the foaming agent (i.e. CrN x ), the as-printed breathable steel has a great combination of compressive strength (~1.3 GPa), strain (~26%), microhardness (~360 HV) and corrosion resistance, along with sufficient breathability. These mechanical properties are even superior to the commercial PM-35 breathable steel. Based on detailed microstructural characterization, the affecting factors to the pore forming are studied, and the importance of the novel approach developed by the current study has been addressed.
Subject Metals and Alloy Materials
Keyword(s) Breathable mould steel
Foaming agent
Gas permeability
Microstructure and mechanical property
Selective laser melting
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.matdes.2019.107693
Copyright notice © 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
ISSN 0264-1275
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