Selective Laser Melting of Advanced Metal Alloys for Aerospace Applications
Jerrard, Peter George Eveleigh
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To allow publication of the research elsewhere
Research focused on the selective laser melting (SLM) of stainless steels and aluminium alloys. For steels, the possibility of creating a magnetically graded material was demonstrated as well as the ability to improve consolidation with austenitic and martensitic stainless steel powder mixtures. Stainless Steel/CoCr hybrid samples were also manufactured and tested to investigate the advantages of functionally graded materials (FGMs). Al alloy research began with examining the requirements for successful Al alloy consolidation in SLM and through experimentation it was found that Al alloys with good welding properties were the best choice: pure Al was found to be completely unsuitable. 6061 Al alloy was then used as a base material to manufacture Al-Cu alloy samples. Single layer SLM samples were produced first, which resulted in recognised Al-Cu microstructures forming. Multilayer Al alloy SLM research resulted in the discovery of the theorised ability to manufacture Al-Cu alloy parts with a nanocrystalline Al matrix with dispersed Al2Cu quasicrystals, resulting in a material comparable to a metal matrix composite that showed excellent corrosion resistance and compressive strength. Finally, a demonstration part was made to test the capability of the SLM process producing an aerospace type geometry using a customised Al alloy. Observations during manufacture and post process analysis showed that Al alloys were susceptible to changes in mechanical properties due to the geometry of the manufactured part.
PhD in Engineering