2021 journal article
Additive manufacturing of ZrB2-ZrSi2 ultra-high temperature ceramic composites using an electron beam melting process
CERAMICS INTERNATIONAL, 47(2), 2397–2405.
Owing to their high melting points and ability to resist extreme thermal stresses, ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) are important materials for critical applications such as hypersonic flights, space re-entry vehicles, and rocket engines. Traditional manufacturing processes restrict the freedom to manufacture UHTCs with complex geometries due to the limitations of die and mold designs. Electron beam melting (EBM) is an established powder-bed layer-by-layer additive manufacturing (AM) process for metal parts. In this research, an effort was made to evaluate the feasibility of EBM for the AM fabrication of UHTC-based materials, and to investigate the microstructures of the fabricated materials under different processing conditions. A mathematical model was developed to simulate and optimize the processing parameters for the fabrication of ZrB2-30 vol% ZrSi2 UHTC using EBM. The simulation results were compared with experimental observations. For EBM fabrication of ZrB2-30 vol% ZrSi2 composites, the optimal processing parameters are beam power of 500 W with scanning speeds of 500, 750, and 1000 mm/s, and beam power of 1000 W with scanning speed of 1000 mm/s. This study demonstrates the potential for additive manufacturing of UHTCs with complex geometries by the EBM technique.