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From mine to part: Directed energy deposition of iron ore

: Naesstroem, Himani; Brückner, Frank; Kaplan, Alexander F.H.

Fulltext ()

Rapid Prototyping Journal 27 (2021), No.11, pp.37-42
ISSN: 1355-2546
European Regional Development Fund ERDF
Interreg Nord; 304-10694-2017; C3TS
European Regional Development Fund ERDF
304-7463-2018; CINEMA
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IWS ()
additive manufacturing; laser cladding; crushed iron ore; high speed imaging; laser metal deposition

This paper aims to gain an understanding of the behaviour of iron ore when melted by a laser beam in a continuous manner. This fundamental knowledge is essential to further develop additive manufacturing routes such as production of low cost parts and in-situ reduction of the ore during processing.
Blown powder directed energy deposition was used as the processing method. The process was observed through high-speed imaging, and computed tomography was used to analyse the specimens.
The experimental trials give preliminary results showing potential for the processability of iron ore for additive manufacturing. A large and stable melt pool is formed in spite of the inhomogeneous material used. Single and multilayer tracks could be deposited. Although smooth and even on the surface, the single layer tracks displayed porosity. In case of multilayered tracks, delamination from the substrate material and deformation can be seen. High-speed videos of the process reveal various process phenomena such as melting of ore powder during feeding, cloud formation, melt pool size, melt flow and spatter formation.
Very little literature is available that studies the possible use of ore in additive manufacturing. Although the process studied here is not industrially useable as is, it is a step towards processing cheap unprocessed material with a laser beam.