Copper Foam: Indian Researchers Use 3D Printing & UV-Assisted Sintering to Test Copper Foam Properties
In the recently published ‘Effect of unit cell shape and strut size on flexural properties of ordered Copper foam,’ Pulak M. Pandey and Gurminder Singh (Mechanical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India) study the relationship between cells and copper, employing both 3D printing and ultrasonic vibration-assisted pressure-less sintering.
Copper foam—and metal foams overall—are becoming fabrication materials of greater interest to industrial users lately, classified as either open (allowing enormous impact on heat exchanger applications) or closed (porous, and used for impact absorption). Both types of foams show potential in applications like aerospace, auto, heat exchangers, the biomedical field, and more.
Because open-cell foams have a high surface area, they demonstrate superior mechanical properties over closed foam, as well as high thermal features and good electrical conductivity. Historically, however, 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes using metal foam have been challenging, posing fabrication issues like curling, swelling, and more. In using EBM 3D printing, replacing the laser, prints still demonstrated over 12 percent shrinkage. More recently, however, success has been reported in using 3D printing with UV-assisted sintering:
“It was observed that the process was able to fabricate uniform copper metal foams with different unit cell shape having maximum of 8.07 % shrinkage. Metal foam strut size and unit cell shape are the important parameters to acquire better strength with low weight,” stated the researchers.
Some researchers found increased mechanical properties while using open-cell iron foam, and others had success with aluminum, relying on unit cell shape effect. There has been little research performed with uniform copper metal foam, with the exception of some peripheral testing pointing toward potential. For this study, the researchers used copper powder with an average particle size of 8 µm. Two different sample shapes were created: simple cubic (SC) and body-centered cubic (BCC). Three different strut sizes were used in examining the shape of the unit cells.
The researchers used an SLA 3D printer to create samples out of a polymer, with printed parts serving as the pattern for a mold. During testing, the researchers noted isolated micropores, demonstrating good diffusion of the copper particles; however, the foam exhibited brittle behavior, and unit cell shape samples possessed a ‘shorter plateau area’ in comparison to body-centered cubic (BCC) unit cells.
“Rough dimples were observed in SC samples as compared to BCC samples during the necks study after the fracture,” concluded the researchers.
“The thick struts size samples possessed high strength properties for both types of unit cell shapes. The SC unit shape flexural samples showed the high flexural modulus (310-843 MPa) and flexural strength (14-32 MPa) as compared to the BCC samples flexural modulus (230-515 MPa) and flexural strength (8-22 MPa).”
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: ‘Effect of unit cell shape and strut size on flexural properties of ordered Copper foam’]
You May Also Like
SME Additive Manufacturing Community Awards at RAPID + TCT 2021
At the recent RAPID + TCT 2021 event, in between interviewing companies, walking the show floor, and watching the keynote presentations, I also had the opportunity to attend the SME...
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: September 26, 2021
We’ve got plenty of in-person and virtual events to tell you about this week, starting with TCT3Sixty and three other shows you can attend with the same pass! We’ve got...
RAPID + TCT 2021 Keynotes: 3D Printing in Aerospace, Medical, & More
At the start of SME’s 30th year of RAPID + TCT, widely known as North America’s largest, most important additive manufacturing event, AM consultant and writer Todd Grimm got things...
INTAMSYS at RAPID + TCT 2021: Intelligent Systems for 3D Printing Functional Materials
Industrial-grade 3D printer manufacturer and AM solutions provider INTAMSYS, founded in 2013, is all about printing high-performance parts out of high-temperature plastics at a more affordable price. As Paul Carlson,...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.