Abstract

The ability to produce a dense part of Al-based metal matrix nanocomposites using binder jetting followed by infiltration was investigated. A green density above 1.58 g/cm3 was determined to be necessary for spontaneous direct liquid infiltration to commence, and a press-compaction-assisted binder jetting process is needed to achieve this benchmark. A green density of 1.64 ± 0.02 g/cm3 only resulted in a density of 1.65 ± 0.03 g/cm3 by sintering at 1050 °C, which showed that densification is not possible with sintering alone. However, infiltration with Al-6061 produced specimens with a density of 2.74 ± 0.04 g/cm3, which corresponded to a density improvement of 65%. Moreover, the infiltrated specimens had a low open porosity of 2.71 ± 0.95% and a high hardness of 54 HRA. This study suggests that it is feasible to manufacture parts with complex shapes and superior mechanical properties using binder Jetting followed by infiltration.

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