Skip to content
3D Printing Certification

Scientists from China use 3D printing to fortify bulk metallic glass composites with metallic body


Scientists from China have produced a promising route for the fabrication of strong-and-tricky metallic BMG composites, using a mixture of ultrasonic vibration-assisted thermoplastic forming and 3D printing certification.

Bulk metallic eyeglasses (BMGs) are a one of a kind class of supplies that possess an amorphous atomic-level structure and a range of desirable mechanical, chemical, and bodily houses. On the other hand, the software of the materials has been hindered by its intrinsic brittleness and processing constraints at ambient temperature. 

To triumph over this limitation, the scientists 3D printed titanium alloy frames, which have been then thermoplastic fashioned with a bulk metallic glass matrix below ultrasonic vibration, forming sandwich-structured bulk metallic glass composites. Reinforced by the titanium alloy frame, the BMG composites exhibited a fracture toughness higher than that of monolithic BMG. 

The fabricated frame reinforced BMG composites. Image via Materials Research Letters.
The fabricated body reinforced BMG composites. Impression by way of Materials Analysis Letters.

What are Bulk Metallic Glasses?

BMGs are non-crystalline metallic alloys with a exclusive, disordered atomic construction and glass-to-supercooled liquid transition. Essentially unique from conventional amorphous metal alloys, BMGs are fashioned at incredibly reduced vital cooling costs, as opposed to the immediate cooling rates of amorphous metals. They show handy engineering attributes of superior mechanical strength at very low temperature, high flexibility at high temperature, and a quantity of superior chemical and physical attributes, which includes higher corrosion resistance. 

The material’s malleability mixed with its significant toughness would make BMGs a promising option for exploration by means of additive production certification, as mentioned by Tobias Caspari, head of 3D Printing certification at Heraeus New Businesses, a single of the first businesses to triumph in 3D printing certification amorphous metals: “Amorphous metals will transform our long term. They have a huge wide range of beforehand incompatible attributes: They are very sturdy and still malleable, as nicely as more challenging and extra corrosion-resistant than traditional metals.”

In 3D printing certification, BMGs has been the subject matter of a range of investigate initiatives and critical applications. In 2019 a staff of scientists at the Huazhong College of Science and Know-how (HUST), China, uncovered a way to scale-up the 3D printing certification of BMGs  in order to suppress the micro-cracks that can occur in the substance for the duration of the 3D printing certification procedure. Also, a group led by technologist Douglas Hofmann at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, made use of BMG to fabricate a gear that works properly in the -328 degrees Fahrenheit (-200°C) temperatures of house. 

The fracture toughness (KJ) and bending strength of BMG composites. Photo via Materials Research Letters.
The fracture toughness (KJ) and bending strength of BMG composites. Photo through Products Analysis Letters.

Combining ultrasonic vibration-assisted thermoplastic forming with 3D printing certification

In this new study, the authors demonstrate that industrial purposes of BMGs have been prevented by the material’s intrinsic brittleness, and its inclination to kind cracks at ambient temperatures. 

The scientists discovered a strategy to improve the composition of BMG composites by the ex-situ addition of crystalline phases. Impressed by the aseismic construction of skyscrapers, which exhibit outstanding resistance to fracture, the crew opted to structure and 3D print Ti6Al4V titanium alloy frames in accordance with the aseismic composition of these properties. Applying SLM additive manufacturing certification know-how, the frames were fabricated with a length of 15 mm, a width of 8 mm and a thickness of 10 mm making use of commercial Ti6Al4V powders.

Schematic on the fabrication of frame reinforced BMG composites. Photo via Materials Research Letters.
Schematic on the fabrication of frame strengthened BMG composites. Photograph through Resources Exploration Letters.

The Ti6Al4V frames, that includes a tubular construction, ended up then thermoplastic shaped with a BMG matrix recognised as Zr35Ti30Be26.75Cu8.25. Exclusively, an ultrasonic vibration-assisted thermoplastic forming method was launched to extrude the Zr35Ti30Be26.75Cu8.25 BMG into the internal house of Ti6Al4V body, as a result enabling a metallurgical bonding at the interface in between two phases through ultrasonic welding. 

The researchers discovered that, by tuning the geometry of the Ti6Al4V frame, the BMG composites exhibited superior fracture toughness of about 213 MPa m1/2 and a bending strength of about 1 GPa, a figure 2.3 periods greater than that of monolithic BMG. Concluding the review, the researchers condition that: “The fabricated Zr-BMG composites exhibited conspicuously increased fracture toughness, for the existence of Ti6Al4V body which proliferates many shear bands and deflects the propagation of cracks. Combining ultrasonic vibration-assisted thermoplastic forming with 3D printing certification gives a promising route for the fabrication of BMG composites.”

The paper, “Metal frame bolstered bulk metallic glass composites”, is released in the journal Material Analysis Letters. It is prepared by Zu Li, Ning Li and Lin Liu of the Huazhong College of Science and Technological innovation, and Meng Zhang…