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Research on metal 3D printing technology and special powder (3)

Categories: ZCMIM NewsStars: 3StarsVisit: -Release time: 2019-11-04 08:42:00
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Electron beam selective melting technique (EBSM)

EBSM uses high-energy electron beam as heat source for processing. Scanning forming can be carried out by manipulating magnetic deflection coil. Moreover, electron beam has a vacuum environment and can avoid metal powder oxidation in process of liquid phase sintering or melting. In view of above advantages of electron beam, Arcam, Tsinghua university, Massachusetts institute of technology and Langley research center of NASA have developed their own rapid electron beam manufacturing systems. Latter two use electron beams to melt metal wires, which remain stationary and move through wire feeding devices and worktables, similar to technology used in laser net forming.     

EBSM technology is a kind of metal zero 3D printing technology developed in mid-1990s. The main difference between EBSM and SLM/DMLS system is heat source, and forming principle is basically similar. Compared with 3D printing technology of metal parts with laser as energy source, EBSM technology has many advantages such as high energy utilization, no reflection, high power density and convenient focusing. Among dozens of methods of 3D printing, EBSM technology is highly concerned because it can directly shape metal parts.

Foreign studies on EBM process theory are relatively early. Arcam AB of Sweden has developed EBM S12 series of commercialized EBSM equipment, while domestic studies on EBSM process are relatively late. Heinl used ti6-al4-v, Ramirez used Cu, Murr used Ni - and Co - based super alloys, and Hernandez prepared a series of open honeycomb structures. By changing pre-set elastic modulus E, pores of different sizes can be obtained to reduce density and obtain lightweight structure. K. n. amato prepared columnar carbide deposition structure by using Co - based super alloy matrix particles.

Ramirez prepared a new directional microstructure with Cu2O and found that during preparation process, columnar Cu2O precipitated in high purity copper. Liu haitao studied the influence of process parameters on selective melting process of electron beam, and showed that scan line width was linearly related to electron beam current, accelerating voltage and scanning speed, and better layer quality could be obtained by adjusting lap rate and scanning path. The hardness, tensile strength and other mechanical properties of ti-6al-4v specimen prepared by EBSM were studied by hongbo. The results showed that loss of Al element was obvious in forming process, and low oxygen content and Al content were beneficial to plasticity improvement. Hardness in same layer and along direction of deposition height is not obviously different. By using principle of metal powder melts under electron beam bombardment, a layer of powder is spread on powder spreading plane and compacted. Then, under computer control, electron beam carries out selective melting/sintering according to section profile and accumulates layer upon layer until whole part is completely melted/sintered.

EBSM technology mainly includes powder feeding, powder spreading and melting, etc. Therefore,  Vacuum chamber should be equipped with powder feeding mechanism, powder recycling box and forming platform. At the same time, should also include electron gun system, vacuum system, power system and control system. Control system includes scanning control system, motion control system, power control system, vacuum control system and temperature detection system. S12 device manufactured by Sweden Arcam is the best example of electron beam selective melting technology in practical applications. The company has been working on this technology since 2003 and is exploring it in a variety of areas. Currently, EBSM technology has been widely used in biomedicine, and relevant units are actively studying its application in aerospace. In United States, research on space vehicles focuses on structural manufacturing of aircraft and rocket engines, as well as direct metal forming manufacturing in environment of moon or space station.

Keywords in the article: metal 3D printing special powder
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