Aluminum and Aluminum-Matrix-Composite Manufacture by Laser Deposition
The Laser-Engineered-Net-Shaping (LENSTM) process uses a laser to create a molten pool on the surface of a substrate in which metal powder is then injected to increase the volume of the pool. The laser spot is selectively scanned to additively build up the required material in the desired shape. In a sequential fashion, each cross-sectional layer of the object is taken from a 3-D CAD file and deposited until an entire object is created. Many materials have been deposited using this technique, including steels and titanium alloys. Metal-matrix composites (MMCs) have been produced by the simple method of using coated particulate composite particles. The deposition of aluminum and its alloys is challenging because aluminum absorbs little incident laser energy. The ability to produce these materials may significantly impact NASA?s ability to fabricate or repair various components for advanced rocket engines. This proposal aims to develop the methodology to deposit high aluminum alloys during Phase I, and also show the feasibility of producing aluminum MMCs. Phase 2 will further optimize the aluminum alloy deposition and develop the process for aluminum MMC deposition, and demonstrate component manufacture with suitable testing.
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3911 Singer NE Albuquerque, NM 87109
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