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Title: Development and characterisation of direct laser sintering Cu-based metal powder
Authors: Zhu, H.H.
Lu, L. 
Fuh, J.Y.H. 
Keywords: Copper-based alloy
Direct laser sintering
Injection moulding
Liquid-phase sintering
Rapid mould
Issue Date: 22-Sep-2003
Citation: Zhu, H.H., Lu, L., Fuh, J.Y.H. (2003-09-22). Development and characterisation of direct laser sintering Cu-based metal powder. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 140 (1-3 SPEC.) : 314-317. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Direct laser sintering of metal powder is a promising manufacturing process to produce rapid moulds (or rapid tooling) because complex three-dimensional (3-D) metal parts can be created directly from computer-aided design (CAD) data without machining or use of additional tooling. However, material and process are still the crucial issues that restrict its wider adoption although the technology has been introduced more than 7 years. This paper characterises a self-developed Cu-based metal powder used for direct laser sintering. The material system is Cu-based alloy metal powder, which consists of two metal powders: high-purity Cu powder and pre-alloyed SCuP metal powder. The scanning electron microscope (SEM), XRD and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analyses show that the bonding mechanism of this process is liquid-phase sintering. The pre-alloyed SCuP metal powder with lower melting point (645 °C) acts as the binder during laser sintering, while the Cu powder with higher melting point (1083 °C) acts as the structure. The element phosphorus in the powder can act as flux to protect the Cu oxidisation. A case study on fabricating the inserts of a mobile phone cover mould was also carried out. The inserts were created in ambient atmosphere at room temperature. The total sintering time is 40h. Sixty five percent relative theoretical density and average surface roughness Ra 14-16μm were achieved with negligible distortion and curling. Epoxy infiltration was employed as post-process to improve the density and the strength of the sintered tooling. The mould inserts were used to inject ABS-PC mobile phone cover after polishing. No defects were found after moulding of 500 components. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Journal of Materials Processing Technology
ISSN: 09240136
DOI: 10.1016/S0924-0136(03)00755-6
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