Metal Printing at Lehigh University
An interdisciplinary team has been assembled to study the material properties of 3D printed metals as they compare to wrought material. Through process-to-property modeling, our group is addressing the issues relating to rapid certification and qualification of 3D printed metal parts. An in-house custom built wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) 3D printer has been developed at Lehigh with open source capabilities. It allows for the rapid production of a large number of samples for testing at relatively low cost. Currently working in steels, our approach consists of relating geometry, toolpath and processing parameters (such as thermal history, energy density, and other quality metrics) to the resultant material properties to inform our understanding of the fundamental effects of 3D printing on the metal behavior. Scanning electron microscopy, microhardness grid testing, tribology, tensile and fracture testing, among others, will be / are currently being performed on printed specimens. These data will allow a statistical analysis to be performed on the reliability of materials and products created by direct energy deposition.
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