The quality of parts fabricated with additive manufacturing is influenced by the flowability of the feedstock particles, which is the result of many factors, including chemistry (e.g., true density, the presence of surface oxides, and impurities), morphology (e.g., particle shape and the presence of satellites), and particle size distribution. This work investigates the relationship between powder characteristics and flow behavior of different powders using three flowability testing methods. Six powders of two compositions (316L stainless steel and AlSi10Mg), made using two different methods (gas‐ and water‐atomization), are investigated to rationalize the effect of powder chemistry and morphology on flow behavior. The results show that the true density of the powders can influence several flowability metrics. In addition, aspect ratio strongly influences the initiation of flow from a static condition, whereas average particle size strongly dictates the ease of maintaining that flow.
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Advanced Engineering Materials
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Abstract Feedstock powders used in binder jetting additive manufacturing include nanopowder, micropowder, and granulated powder. Two important characteristics of the feedstock powders are flowability and sinterability. This paper aims to compare the flowability and sinterability of different feedstock powders. Three powders were compared: nanopowder (with a particle size of ∼100 nm), micropowder (with a particle size of 70 μm), and granulated powder (with a granule size of ∼70 μm) made from the nanopowder by spray freeze drying. Flowability metrics employed included apparent density (AD), tap density (TD), volumetric flow rate (VFR), mass flow rate (MFR), Hausner ratio (HR), Carr index (CI), and repose angle (RA). Sinterability metrics employed included sintered bulk density (SBD), volumetric shrinkage (VS), and densification ratio (DR). Results show that the granulated powder has a higher flowability than the nanopowder and a higher sinterability than the micropowder. Moreover, different flowability metric values of the granulated powder are close to those of the micropowder, indicating that these two powers have a comparably high flowability. Similarly, different sinterability metric values of the granulated powder are close to those of the nanopowder, indicating that these two powders have a comparably high sinterability.more » « less
Objective of this study is to prepare the binder jetting feedstock powder by spray freeze drying and study the effects of its parameters on the powder properties. Binder jetting additive manufacturing is a promising technology for fabricating ceramic parts with complex or customized geometries. However, this process is limited by the relatively low density of the fabricated parts even after sintering. The main cause comes from the contradicting requirements of the particle size of the feedstock powder: a large particle size (>5 μm) is required for a high flowability while a small particle size (<1 μm) for a high sinterability. For the first time, a novel technology for the feedstock material preparation, called spray freeze drying, is investigated to address this contradiction. Using raw alumina nanopowder (100 nm), a full factorial design at two levels for two factors (spraying pressure and slurry feed rate) was formed to study their effects on the properties (i.e., granule size, flowability, and sinterability) of the obtained granulated powder. Results show that high pressure and small feed rate lead to small granule size. Compared with the raw powder, the flowability of the granulated powders was significantly increased, and the high sinterability was also maintained. This study proves that spray freeze granulation is a promising technology for the feedstock powder preparation of binder jetting additive manufacturing.more » « less
The objective of this study is to compare three different feedstock powders for the binder jetting process by characterizing their flowability and sinterability. Binder jetting additive manufacturing is a promising technology for fabricating ceramic parts with complex or customized geometries. Granulation is a promising material preparation method due to the potential high sinterability and flowability of the produced powder. However, no study has been made to systematically compare raw and granulated powders in terms of their flowing and sintering behaviors. This paper aims at filling this knowledge gap. Two raw powders (i.e., fine raw powder of 300 nm and coarse raw powder of 70 μm) and one granulated powder from spray freeze drying were compared. Different flowability metrics, including volumetric flow rate, mass flow rate, Hausner ratio, Carr index, and repose angle were measured. Different sinterability metrics, including sintered bulk density, volume shrinkage, and densification ratio were compared for all three powders. Results show that granulated powder achieved comparably high flowability to that of the coarse raw powder and also comparably high sinterability to that of the fine raw powder. Moreover, suitable metrics for the characterization of the sinterability and flowability for these three powders are recommended. This study suggests spray freeze drying produces high-quality feedstock powder for binder jetting process.more » « less
null (Ed.)Binder Jetting has gained particular interest amongst Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques because of its wide range of applications, broader feasible material systems, and absence of rapid melting-solidification issues present in other AM processes. Understanding and optimizing printing parameters during the powder spreading process is essential to improve the quality of the final part. In this study, a Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulation is employed to evaluate the powder packing density, flowability, and porosity during powder spreading process utilizing three different powder groups. Two groups are formed with monoidal size distributions (75–84 μm and 100–109 μm), and the third one consisting of a bimodal distribution (50 μm + 100 μm).more » « less
A thorough investigation into the effects of powder size distribution during the powder spreading step in a binder jetting process is conducted using ceramic foundry sand. It was observed that coarser particles result in higher flowability (62% decrease in repose angle) than finer ones due to the cohesion effect present in the latter. A bimodal size distribution yields the highest packing density (8% increase) and lowest porosity (∼12% reduction) in the powder bed, as the finer particles fill in the voids created between the coarser ones. Findings from this study are directly applicable to binder-jetting AM process, and also offer new insights for AM powder manufacturers.
Shell printing is an advantageous binder jetting technique that prints only a thin shell of the intended object to enclose the loose powder in the core. In this study, powder packing in the shell and core was investigated for the first time. By examining the density and microstructure of the printed samples, powder packing was found to be different between the shell and core. In addition, the powder particle size and layer thickness were found to affect the powder packing in the shell and core differently. At a 200 µm layer thickness, for the 10 µm and 20 µm powders, the core was less dense than the shell and had a layered microstructure. At a 200 µm layer thickness, for the 70 µm powder, the core was denser and had a homogeneous microstructure. For the 20 µm powder, by reducing the layer thickness from 200 µm to 70 µm, the core became denser than the shell, and the microstructure of the core became homogeneous. The different results could be attributed to the different scenarios of particle rearrangement between the shell and core for powders of different particle sizes and at different layer thicknesses. Considering that the core was denser and more homogeneous than the shell when the proper layer thickness and powder particle size were selected, shell printing could be a promising method to tailor density and reduce anisotropy.