Scientists at NUST MISIS improved the 3D printing technology of aluminum, which increased the hardness of the product by 1.5 times. The aluminum carbon powder nano-carbon additive they developed is obtained from processing-related petroleum gas products, which will improve the quality of 3D printed aerospace composite materials. The research results were published in the international scientific journal “Composite Materials News”.
Today, the main application area of aluminum 3D printing is the creation of high-tech parts for the aviation and aerospace industries. The presence of even the smallest defects in the printed structure is critical to the safety of the created technology. According to NUST MISIS scientists, the main risk of such defects is the high porosity of the material, which is caused by the quality of the original aluminum powder, among other reasons. In order to ensure that the microstructure of the printed product is uniform and dense, the scientists of MISIS Catalis Lab suggested adding carbon nanofibers to the aluminum powder. The use of this modified additive can ensure low porosity of the material and increase its hardness by 1.5 times.
“By introducing other components into the main matrix to change the chemical and phase composition of the printing powder, its performance can be improved. In particular, carbon nanofibers have high thermal conductivity, which helps maximize the product synthesis. Reduce the temperature gradient between the printed layers in the product synthesis process. Therefore, the microstructure of the material can almost be eliminated from the inhomogeneity.” said the head of the laboratory, Professor NUST MISIS. Alexander Gromov.
The technology developed by the research team to synthesize nano-carbon additives includes chemical deposition, ultrasonic treatment and IR heat treatment. The used carbon nanofibers must be a by-product of related petroleum gas processing. During its catalytic decomposition, carbon accumulates in the form of nanofibers on the dispersed metal particles of the catalyst. Usually, at present, the associated gas is only simply burned in the field, causing harm to the environment. Therefore, the application of the new method also has serious environmental implications-Professor Gromov said. The research was carried out jointly with experts from the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis SB RAS. In the future, the research team plans to determine the optimal conditions for selective laser melting of the new composite powder.
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