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Droplet-based additive manufacturing of hard metal components by thermoplastic 3D printing (T3DP)

: Scheithauer, Uwe; Pötschke, Johannes; Weingarten, Steven; Schwarzer, Eric; Vornberger, Anne; Moritz, Tassilo; Michaelis, Alexander

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Journal of Ceramic Science and Technology 8 (2017), No.1, pp.155-160
ISSN: 2190-9385
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
additive manufacturing; thermoplastic 3D printing; hard metal; cemented carbide; WC-Co

Thermoplastic 3D printing (T3DP) is an Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology that cannot only be used for producing ceramic, metal or multi-material components, but for the Additive Manufacturing of hard metal or cemented carbide components, too. This is possible because the technology combines the precise deposition of small droplets of molten thermoplastic hard-metal-containing suspensions and an increasing viscosity resulting from a cooling process as curing mechanism. This paper demonstrates the suitability of the T3DP-process for the AM of hard metal compounds. Using WC-Co suspensions with a solid content of 67 vol%, single droplets were deposited and first components manufactured. After de-binding and sintering, completely dense samples were achieved. Zero porosity was determined in the microstructures analyzed by means of FESEM and optical microscopy.