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Procedia Manufacturing 30 (2019) 159–166
Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2017) 000–000
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14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management (GCMM-2018)
14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management (GCMM-2018)
Conventional
and Additive Manufacturing with Metal Matrix
A Perspectivewith Metal Matrix
Conventional andComposites:
Additive Manufacturing
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Societya International
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A Perspective
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Malaya Prasad Behera
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and Sarat Singamnenia*
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Auckland
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Malaya Prasad
Behera
, Troy
Dougherty
, and Sarat Singamnenia*
a
Nuenz Ltd,optimization
Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
Costing models for capacity
in Industry 4.0: Trade-off
Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Nuenz Ltd, Lowerand
Hutt 5040,
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between used capacity
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a
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Abstract
A. Santanaa, P. Afonsoa,*, A. Zaninb, R. Wernkeb
Metal matrix composites are a class of materials
in which one or more materials are added to a metal targeting specific property
Abstract
a
University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
enhancements. Considering the possibilities
to tailor the materials and the outcome attributes to specific product needs, they have
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Unochapecó, 89809-000 Chapecó, SC, Brazil
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ascertained in this paper and selective laser melting is identified as the most promising route to process metal matrix composites,
Indeed, lean management and continuous improvement approaches suggest capacity optimization instead of
targeting specific benefits.
maximization.
The study
of capacity
optimization
and costing models is an important research topic that deserves
© 2018 The Authors.
Published
by Elsevier
Ltd.
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contributions
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
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© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: Metal
matrix
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MMCs;
Selectivecommittee
laser melting;
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manufacturing;
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* Corresponding author. Sarat Singamneni, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand, Ph: 0064 9 921 9999 (Ext. 8002).
address: [email protected]
1.E-mail
Introduction
* Corresponding author. Sarat Singamneni, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand, Ph: 0064 9 921 9999 (Ext. 8002).
2351-9789
© 2018
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Authors. Published
by Elsevier information
Ltd.
E-mail
address:
[email protected]
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cost
of idle
capacity
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
in
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Published by Elsevier
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
*
Paulo
Afonso.
Tel.:
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761;
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604
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Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management
E-mail address: [email protected]
(GCMM-2018).
2351-9789
Published
by Elsevier
B.V. Ltd.
2351-9789©©2017
2019The
TheAuthors.
Authors.
Published
by Elsevier
Peer-review
underaccess
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the scientific
committee oflicense
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Engineering Society International Conference 2017.
This is an open
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under
the CC BY-NC-ND
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management
(GCMM-2018).
10.1016/j.promfg.2019.02.023
160
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Malaya Prasad Behera et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 30 (2019) 159–166
Behera M. P., Dougherty T. and Singamneni S./ Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2018) 000–000
1. Introduction
Metal matrix composites (MMCs) are made by continuously dispersing a reinforcing material into a monolithic
metallic material matrix [1]. In structural applications, the matrix is usually a lighter metal such as aluminium,
magnesium, or titanium, and provides a compliant support for the reinforcement. In high-temperature applications,
cobalt and cobalt–nickel alloy matrices are common [2]. MMC’s typically find applications in ground
transportation, thermal management, aerospace, industrial, recreational, and infrastructure [3]. Matrices based on
Ag, Al, Be, Co, Cu, Fe, Mg, Ni and Ti are all commercially produced and used. Metal matrix composites based on
Cu represent 25% of the market by mass, while significant volumes of Fe and Ti composites are also produced.
Most common reinforcements used in commercial applications are Al2O3, B4C, BeO, C, graphite, Mo, NbC, SiC,
TaC, TiB, TiBl2, TiC, W and WC. The largest volume of the commercially used reinforcement is SiC by a
significant margin, which is followed by Al2O3 and TiC. Nearly all Metal matrix composites in commercial use rely
on discontinuous reinforcements, although applications exist for Metal matrix composites with continuous graphite,
SiC and Al2O3 fibers [4].
Molten stir casting was proved to be suitable for producing metal matrix composite parts earlier. However, this
method can only be used to produce metal matrix billets, which need to be further processed by subtractive means to
produce components in the required forms. The increased reinforcement leads to lower machinability due to lower
ductility and higher wear resistance attributes. As a result, the application of subtractive processing methods become
uneconomical [5, 6]. Near net shape manufacturing methods score better for these reasons and the most common
choice has been the powder metallurgy method. One of the advantages of the powder metallurgy technology is the
direct production of the final geometry of the required part, saving considerable amounts of time and cost. However,
there are several applications that require parts which need additional machining, for example in products containing
threads, cross bores or slots. In these cases machining of the hard and porous material may lead to significant
manufacturing difficulties [5].
Additive processing is relatively a new manufacturing technique that emerged through the evolution from rapid
prototyping through to rapid manufacturing, and subsequently progressing as the layered manufacturing method [8,
9]. With more recent developments associated with specific 3D printing techniques, the technology has taken the
form of additive manufacturing, allowing to fabricate industrial components directly from CAD files [10]. In
particular, the powder-based processes are amenable to controlling the outcome properties, both by changes in the
powder as well as the process conditions. While the normal additive processing methods dictate serious
requirements on the consistency of the powder, calculated variations could help achieve tailored properties. In
particular, powder metals made of metal-matrix composites could lead to the more efficient realisation of the
specific metal-matrix attributes compared to the powder metallurgy methods. The selective laser melting is the
process of interest in the context of developing more advanced metal-matrix composite materials. While allowing to
selectively apply the laser energy to process metal-matrix powder composites, the process leads to inherent
advantages such as the fabrication of complex shapes involving free-form features and re-entrant structures [11].
The objective of this paper is to review the progress with metal matrix composites, and ascertain the current state-ofthe art with the application of the additive manufacturing technologies to process metal matrix composites.
2. Production and processing metal matrix composites
Metal matrix composites are mostly produced by casting and powder metallurgy methods. Through casting methods,
composite materials reinforced by dispersion particles [12, 13], platelets [14], non-continuous (short) fibres and
continuous (long) fibres [15-18] as well as composite materials with hybrid reinforcements composed of particles
and fibres [19] are produced. Metal matrix composite materials are developed by combining two or more materials
by some means, targeting specific tailored properties. The resulting material will combine the good properties of
both the metallic matrix and the reinforcement materials allowing for a greater degree of design freedom [20].
Traditionally, metal-casting methods dominated the means of producing metal matrix composites, though
segregation issues were at large. Later developments such as the molten stir casting techniques allowed to overcome
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the problems to varying degrees (Duralcan process, D Lloyd, Comalco, etc.) [6, 7, 21, 22]. However, in the latter
approaches, the most common method of developing and processing such materials is through the powder
metallurgy route. The pre-requisite to the application of powder metallurgy is the development of the composite
metal powders and the most common methods employed for producing the MMC powders are compiled in the flow
chart presented in Figure 1 together with the bulk manufacturing methods [23-26].
Fig. 1. Metal matrix composites powder and bulk manufacturing methods
Fig. 2. Discontinuous and continuous fibre, whiskers and particulate-reinforced composites process routes
Reinforcing elements are blended into the molten alloys to produce metal matrix composites with dispersion of
particles and short fibres [28, 29]. Generally, the mixing process is achieved under atmospheric pressure and the
reinforcing elements should possess good wettability by the molten metal alloy. If the wettability is poor, corrective
measures must be employed; for instance, in the case of graphite particles used to strengthen the A356 aluminium
alloy, better wettability is achieved by covering the particles with nickel [28]. Composite materials based on A356
aluminium alloy strengthened with SiC particles containing graphite are produced by Alcoa International and are
sold under the trade name Duralcan F3S20. Currently the most common production method of composite materials
is infiltration of porous preforms made of ceramic fibres under pressure with molten light alloys. There are direct
and indirect squeeze casting of preliminary heated preforms, and these processes are shown schematically in Fig. 2.
Direct squeeze casting is applied for the production of composite elements characterised by relatively simple shapes,
and casting dies for direct squeeze casting are relatively simple and of reasonable price. The application of indirect
squeeze casting makes possible the production of more complex composite parts, but it results in more expensive
casting dies.
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Powder metallurgy methods are based on the classical blending of matrix powders, reinforcing elements (dispersion
powders, platelets and ceramic fibres) and further cold pressing and sintering followed by plastic working (forging,
extrusion). The idea of the spray forming process is based on the atomisation of metal matrix powders with
simultaneous injection of dispersion powders on the substrate and is nowadays increasingly more widely applied for
the production of large size elements from composite materials. This method in particular allows for the introduction
of different reinforcing particles, leading to different chemical reactions between the matrix and the reinforcement
materials and the possible production of in situ composite materials [30].
3. Typical applications and critical attributes
Metal matrix composites are characterised by very good mechanical and development properties over a wide
range of temperatures. Cu-based composite materials reinforced with carbon fibres for applications in the electronic
industry are characterised by very high heat conductivity and other very useful properties such as good wear
resistance [31, 32]. Two main production routes of metal-alloy based composite materials are commonly use;
casting and the powder-metallurgy methods. The choice of the method depends on the property requirements, cost
constraints and the future applications. The use of composite materials is well established in the aircraft industry and
they are now applied in the fuselage as well as the jet engine design and manufacturing. Applications in the
automotive industry are growing rapidly, although still not as common as in the aircraft industry. Copper reinforced
with tungsten particles or aluminium oxide particles is used in heat sinks and electronic packaging. Titanium
reinforced with silicon carbide fibres for aerospace applications and different steels and Inconel with titanium
carbide particle inclusions for high temperature and corrosion resistance needs are other developments [33]. Mishra
et al. evaluated the super plasticity in powder metallurgy aluminium alloys and composites. [34]. A wide latitude has
evolved around the scope and application of the metal matrix composites [35]. The metal-metal composite examples
include tungsten heavy alloys with Cupper, Cupper-Nickel, and Nikel-Iron, Cupper-infiltrated sintered steel powder
compacts, and composite superconducting wire materials. Carbide or diamond tool materials, including WC-Co and
other cermet’s used in the cutting tool industry, as well as impregnated diamond tool materials and other diamond
tool materials are the metal-ceramic composites. While being low cost alternatives, aluminium MMCs also offer
excellent thermal conductivity, high shear strength, excellent abrasion resistance, high-temperature operation, nonflammability, minimal attack by fuels and solvents, and the ability to be formed and treated on conventional
equipment [36].
4. Critical issues
The processing method used, the composition of the matrix and the type of reinforcement are independent of one
another. However, in molten metal processing, they are intimately linked in terms of the different interactions that
occur between reinforcement and the matrix in the molten state. The factors controlling the distribution of the
reinforcement are also dependent on the initial processing method. Secondary fabrication methods, such as extrusion
and rolling, are essential in processing the composites produced by powder metallurgy, since they are required to
consolidate the composites fully [37]. Other methods, such as spray casting, molten metal infiltration, and molten
metal mixing give essentially fully consolidated products directly, but extrusion, etc., can improve the properties by
modifying the reinforcement distribution. The mechanical properties obtained in metal matrix composites are
dependent on a wide range of factors, but there are areas requiring further attention. The successful commercial
production of metal matrix composites will finally depend on their cost effectiveness for different applications. This
requires optimum methods of processing, machining, and recycling.
Common metal matrix composite processing methods and the critical issues associated with each of them are
depicted in the chart presented in Figure 3. The powder metallurgy route, though promising in terms of achieving
the dispersion control, is restrictive in the shape complexities possible. The mechanical properties achieved are also
limited. The liquid-state methods mainly suffer from the loss of the control over the dispersion of the filler particles,
apart from the wettability constraints. The spray methods depend on shapes developed by other means, while also
lacking process control. The diffusion bonding methods are limited by high production times and size and shape
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restrictions. The additive manufacturing methods are relatively recent developments and if successful with specific
metal matrix composites, could eliminate some are all of these constraints.
Fig. 3. Critical issues with traditional MMC processing routes
5. Additive manufacturing
Additive manufacturing refers to the technologies that evolved recently from 3D printing, and are allowing for
the direct production of end use parts from CAD data. The layer-by-layer additive material consolidation eliminates
the need for complex intermediate tooling. This will result in considerable shortening of the manufacturing lead
times, apart from significant freedom to design and produce more complex shapes. The benefits of the tool-less,
digital technologies amenable to true just in time production have captured the attention of the world and additive
manufacturing is being referred to as the industrial revolution of the digital age. AM allows environmentally
friendly product designs as well. The unique processing attributes of additive manufacturing will also offer other
opportunities such as optimum designs for lean production, reduction of waste and environmental conservation [38].
For most part additively produced parts were mainly used as models assisting in the product development process.
However, more recent improvements in materials, processes and properties of parts produced led to the wider uptake
of the technologies in different fields of use, including industrial, aerospace, and medical applications [39].
In all these processes, the starting point is the CAD file of the object to be printed. The CAD model is then sliced
into a number of flat layers, each of which is further rasterised to construct line by line. All additive manufacturing
systems have the software capabilities to take a CAD file in, mostly in the .stl format and then process for the build
orientation, slicing and rasterization. Further, the hardware allows for the implementation of the line-by-line and
layer-by-layer build process. The main difference is in the energy sources used. In fused deposition modelling,
polymer filaments are heated and extruded in the semi-solid form to construct the layers as per the raster schemes
[42]. Selective laser sintering uses a laser to heat polymer powders spread on the substrate selectively following the
raster paths, to build each layer by local heating and subsequent controlled solid state sintering [40]. Selective laser
melting utilises the same method as SLS, but the laser used is often more powerful and metal powders are
consolidated by full melting and subsequent solidification into layers [41]. The binder jet technologies are mainly
used for ceramic powders and the techniques involves jetting binder glue solutions selectively on the powder
substrate to achieve inter particle bonding and subsequent green strength. The consolidated mass held together by
the green strength are subsequently heated to achieve better bonding and dry strength [43].
Considering the numerous benefits of the additive technologies, it becomes interesting and important to consider
to evaluate metal matrix composites by these new and emerging techniques. Attempts towards production of
complete metal matrix composite parts made from in-situ mixing of the matrix and filler materials have not gained
much attention as yet. Considering the point-by-point consolidation and the free-form fabrication abilities, selective
laser melting scores much better than the conventional powder metallurgy methods in terms of processing metals in
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the powder form. However, there is a serious lack of information on the application of selective laser melting
towards fabrication of three-dimensional metal matrix composite parts. Research gaps are clearly evident along
these lines and the next section attempts to consolidate the progress made so far, while a critical review and
consolidation of the future courses will be presented later.
6. Additive processing of metal matrix composites
Vrancken et al. examined the solidification, microstructure, mechanical properties, and responses to heat
treatment of SLM parts produced using powder mixtures of extra low interstitial Ti6Al4V and 10 wt.% Mo [44].
The research results highlighted the additive processing route to be more effective in terms of achieving engineered
parts based on powder mixtures. Inconsistent dispersion of the Mo phase was noted due to poor mixing and possible
melt-pool diffusion of Mo particles. More importantly, the solidification mechanism was found to change from
planar to cellular mode. Krakhmalev et al. applied selective laser melting to develop coatings of Ti (20, 30, 40 wt.
%) and SiC powder mixtures based on a continuous-wave Ytterbium fiber laser YLR-4x200-SM (IPG Photonics
Corporation) of 1.075 µm wavelength at 200W maximum laser power [45]. The fabricated ultrafine composites
formed in situ, were investigated to evaluate the composition-microstructure relationships. Hardness, indentation
fracture toughness and abrasive wear resistance were studied to assess the mechanical properties. The selective laser
melting and the re-melting of the Ti and SiC powder mixtures resulted in the in-situ formation of the multiphase
intermetallic composites consisting of titanium carbides, carbosilicides and silicides.
Zhang et al. produced Ti substrate samples through selective laser melting and subsequently built porous Nb
coatings through laser cladding. They performed in vitro studies to assess the cell attachment, morphology, and
proliferation [46]. Through metallographic evaluation, they established that the Ti-Nb metal-matrix composite layers
were successfully formed through the laser cladding or melting process and the interface characteristics are sound.
The outcomes were envisioned to lead to wider research and application in the orthopaedic and dental implant
applications. Manfredi et al. used mixtures of AlSiMg with SiC and nano particles of MgAl2O4 at 10% and 1% by
weight respectively and processed by the direct metal laser sintering method [47]. The smaller SiC particles being
more in quantity were clearly seen sticking all around the spherical matrix metal particles, together with the nano
MgAl2O4 particles. The AlSiMg/SiC composite showed dispersion of the SiC particles within the metal matrix. It
was noted that the presence of the ceramic reinforcement led to an almost 70% rise in the hardness values compared
to that of the matrix metal. However, the other case, involving nano particulate fillers led to a loss of mechanical
properties due to poor dispersion characteristics and possible adverse effects on the solidification and the formation
of porous structures.
Davydova et al. developed the cobalt-cladded boron carbide powder for processing by selective laser melting,
potentially targeting the manufacturing of cutting tools. This was the first-time metal-ceramic powders had been
processed based on laser melting [48]. Batches of composite metal-coated B4C powders were produced using the
chemical vapour deposition (CVD) facilities at LIFCO Industrie, France. Hardness measurements based on the
cuboid samples developed indicate a variation from about 600 to ∼3000 HV depending on the measurement zone.
Significant porosity levels were identified and reported (∼37%) mainly at the interlayer regions. The compressive
strength values measured based on the laser melted samples were noted to be below 110 MPa. Sing et al. evaluated
mixtures of commercial titanium and tantalum powders with equal weight percentages for selective laser melting
[49]. The ability to produce Ti-Ta alloy components based on selective laser melting of mixed powders was
demonstrated through this research. Tantalum was selected as a potential alloying element based on its ability to
stabilize the β phase in the Ti-Ta system, apart from lowering the Young's modulus which is essential in biomedical
applications. It was reported that the selective laser melting method allowed to stabilise only the β phase, due to the
presence of the tantalum as well as the rapid cooling rates. The size variation in the tantalum particles was noted to
cause insufficient melting of the relatively larger particles. Overall, the laser melted Ti-Ta part showed a
combination of high strength and lower Young's modulus as compared to the commercially pure titanium and
Ti6Al4V parts.
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7. Conclusions
The metal matrix composite material aspects are reviewed in this paper. Typical base matrix and filler material
options and their combinations have been identified and reported. Both raw materials development and further
processing of them into finished products and the methods employed at different stages are highlighted. Considering
the critical aspects of metal matrix material processing, it was noted that the conventional manufacturing methods
fall short of achieving the controlled dispersion and the full benefits of the metal matrix composites. The additive
manufacturing methods are identified to be better alternatives for processing the metal matrix composites. In
particular the selective laser melting route is ascertained to be the most promising option, and several aspects of
interest yet to be researched are highlighted.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to acknowledge the support from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
New Zealand grant received by the New Zealand Product Accelerator. The project is currently funded through the
AUT subcontract of this grant. The metal matrix composites were developed though the expertise and facilities at
Nuenz.
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