China: Comparing Metal Droplet Deposition for Electric Power Fittings to Conventional Techniques

Share this Article

In ‘The Additive Manufacturing Process of Electric Power Fittings Fabricated by Metal Droplet Deposition,’ authors Zhengying Wei, HaiHua Wu, and Guangxi Zhao explore more about AM techniques that could prove to be better, faster, and more affordable for manufacturing electric power fittings.

This research focuses on making components with electromagnetic induction, in comparison to more traditional techniques of both casting and forging. Hoping to eliminate more cost-prohibitive methods, the Chinese authors explore ways to manufacture the fittings on-site, using metal droplet deposition. Previous efforts and studies have produced components with inferior properties like surface quality.

Schematic diagram of droplet deposition system

Droplet deposition consists of the following:

  • Pneumatic system – producing droplets on demand, comprised of a controller, solenoid valve, crucible, heating furnace, and nitrogen gas resource.
  • Motion control system – forms workpieces by controlling the 3D platform according to data, made up of the program multiple axes controller, 3D movement platform, and deposition substrate.
  • Forming process monitoring system – observes deposition process, made up of CCD camera, and image acquisition card.
  • Inert environment control system – prevents metal from oxidizing and is made up of the glove box and the gas circulating device.

Molten aluminum droplets were printed on a horizontal Al alloy substrate, leaving the researchers to analyze droplet parameters like size, displacement, and temperature.

 “The results indicated that the internal structure is dense, and the mechanical properties were good,” stated the researchers.

During the experiment, a thin-walled workpiece was redesigned, along with a ball head ring workpiece that was created. Supporting materials were added to prevent collapse, with a variety of materials such as gypsum powder, sand, ceramic, and resin combined to test the support properties.

Microstructure analysis indicated that droplet diameter was maintained at 100 μm for the most stable droplets. Ultimately, the scientist’s experiments were able to prove that the electric power fittings they created would satisfy all requirements for users engaging in this type of process. Substrate temperature, moving speed, and the deposition process were all evaluated during the experiment, and they comprehensively assessed the fitting workpieces and the structural stability and composition of the support materials that were required.

“Dimensional accuracy and microstructure analysis of the workpieces were carried out. No obvious overlap trace (such as overlap line and cracks) was observed, and the internal microstructure is equiaxial crystal. Density is measured by drainage method. The average density of droplet deposition components is 99.51%, which is much higher than the cast raw material,” concluded the researchers.

Microstructure of overlap area

Metal 3D printing is being explored in so many different ways today as scientists explore methods like electron beam welding, droplet control, how droplets interact, and more. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

(a) model (b) Experimental piece (c) Original component

[Source / Images: ‘The Additive Manufacturing Process of Electric Power Fittings Fabricated by Metal Droplet Deposition’]

 

 

Share this Article


Recent News

UK Heart Patient Undergoes Rare Surgery for 3D Printed Titanium Sternum

Interview with Edi Weigh of 3D Printing Service FacFox



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

The Do’s and Don’ts of Additive Manufacturing

The best-use cases for 3D printing aren’t always obvious. When designing an object for additive manufacturing, it’s important to keep the limits and benefits of the process in mind. These...

Sponsored

5 Professional Finishing Options for FDM Parts

Despite the advances of other technologies, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) remains the go-to 3D printing process for prototypes and simple plastic parts. It’s fast, it’s cheap, and there are thousands...

Sponsored

The Advantages of 3D Printing

In recent years, 3D printers have taken the manufacturing industry by storm. From automobiles to computer parts, products made by 3D printers have undoubtedly played a big role in the...

3D Printing Being Combined with Soldering to Create High-Performance Zeolites

Researchers in China are exploring the use of minerals called zeolites, hoping to harness ‘desirable configurations’ via 3D printing and soldering, which is further outlined in ‘Fabricating Mechanically Robust Binder-Free...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!