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Binder Jetting Materials Guide

2024.06.25  415 clicks

Written by Abigail    June 25, 2024


Binder Jetting Meaning and Process


Binder Jetting creates objects layer by layer using a powder base material and a liquid binding agent. Unlike other AM methods, Binder Jetting does not rely on heat to fuse materials, making it distinct in its ability to produce intricate designs and utilize a variety of materials.


Binder Jetting Process


1. Preparation: It begins with a 3D model designed in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, which is then converted into a standard tessellation language (STL) file. This file approximates the shape of the object using triangular facets.


2. Slicing: The STL file is imported into slicing software, which divides the model into thin horizontal layers. This step determines the final resolution and detail of the printed object.


3. Printing: During printing, a thin layer of powder material is spread across the build platform. A print head then selectively deposits the liquid binder onto the powder layer, adhering the particles together to form a cross-section of the object.


4. Layering: After each layer is printed, the build platform lowers slightly, and a new layer of powder is applied. This process repeats until the entire object is formed.


5. Post-Processing: The resulting object is then left to cure and solidify. Excess powder is removed, and further post-processing may be applied, such as infiltration with another material to enhance mechanical properties.


Binder Jetting is ideal for a range of applications, including but not limited to architectural models, intricate jewelry, automotive parts, and even sand casting for industrial components.


Binder Jetting HHP Sand Binders


Image Source: ExOne


Binder Jetting Materials and Applications [1]


1. Stainless Steels


Binder jetting of stainless steels, particularly 316L, offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by various process parameters and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


Density and Porosity: Binder-jetted 316L stainless steel parts typically achieve relative densities of 96.54 ± 0.54% after sintering. It is lower than parts produced by Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), which can reach 99.20 ± 0.30% relative density. The porosity in binder-jetted parts can be controlled through optimization of printing parameters and post-processing techniques.


Hardness: The microhardness of binder-jetted 316L stainless steel has been reported to be around 208.71 ± 4.15 HV, which is lower than LPBF-produced parts (239.16 ± 4.90 HV), primarily due to differences in grain size and porosity.


Tensile Strength: Binder-jetted 316L stainless steel exhibits tensile strengths of approximately 437.55 ± 10.11 MPa. While it is lower than LPBF-produced parts (669.92 ± 18.68 MPa), it still offers sufficient strength for many applications.


Compressive Yield Strength: The compressive yield strength of binder-jetted 316L stainless steel lattice structures has been reported as 78.65 ± 3.57 MPa, which is comparable to LPBF-produced structures (75.65 ± 5.77 MPa).


Microstructure: The grain size of binder-jetted 316L stainless steel is typically larger than that of LPBF-produced parts. This difference in microstructure contributes to the variations in mechanical properties between the two processes.


Corrosion Resistance: Binder-jetted 316L stainless steel has shown higher intergranular resistance and comparable pitting resistance compared to cast 316L, which makes it suitable for applications requiring good corrosion resistance.


Applications


Biomedical Implants: The ability to produce complex geometries with controlled porosity makes binder-jetted 316L stainless steel suitable for biomedical implants. The corrosion resistance and biocompatibility of 316L are particularly advantageous in this field.


Automotive Components: Binder-jetted stainless steel parts can be used in various automotive applications, such as exhaust systems, where corrosion resistance and moderate strength are required.


Chemical Processing Equipment: The good corrosion resistance of binder-jetted 316L stainless steel makes it suitable for components in chemical processing equipment, such as valves, fittings, and small reactor parts.


Aerospace Components: While not suitable for high-stress applications, binder-jetted stainless steel parts can be used in non-critical aerospace components where complex geometries are required.


Customized Tooling: The ability to produce near-net-shape parts with minimal material waste makes binder jetting an attractive option for creating customized tools and fixtures in manufacturing processes.


Heat Exchangers: The freedom to design complex internal channels makes binder-jetted stainless steel suitable for creating efficient heat exchangers for various industries.


Architectural and Decorative Elements: The ability to produce intricate designs with good surface finish makes binder-jetted stainless steel attractive for architectural and decorative applications.


2. Titanium Alloys


Binder jetting of titanium alloys, particularly Ti-6Al-4V (Ti64), offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by various process parameters and post-processing treatments.

 

Mechanical Properties


Density: Binder-jetted Ti64 parts can achieve relative densities of up to 96.54 ± 0.54% after sintering. The density can be further improved through optimization of printing parameters and post-processing techniques.


Compressive Strength: Binder-jetted Ti64 has demonstrated a compressive strength of approximately 1.3 ± 0.57 GPa. This strength is suitable for various load-bearing applications.


Bending Strength: The bending strength of binder-jetted Ti64 has been reported to be around 482.91 ± 20.5 MPa. This property is crucial for applications requiring resistance to flexural loads.


Hardness: Binder-jetted Ti64 exhibits a hardness of about 3.74 ± 0.25 GPa. This hardness value contributes to the wear resistance of the material.


Microstructure: The microstructure of binder-jetted titanium alloys can be tailored through sintering conditions. For instance, sintering at temperatures between 1000°C and 1100°C can modify the surface morphology, resulting in smoother and reduced globular characteristics.


Phase Composition: Post-processing treatments, such as annealing at 1400°C, can lead to the formation of specific phases like Ti2AlNb precipitates within B2 grains and grain boundaries, influencing the material's properties.


Applications


Aerospace Components: The high strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance of Ti64 make it ideal for aerospace applications. Binder jetting allows for the production of complex, lightweight parts that can enhance fuel efficiency and performance.


Biomedical Implants: The biocompatibility of Ti64, combined with the ability to create porous structures through binder jetting, makes it suitable for orthopedic and dental implants. The controlled porosity can promote osseointegration.


Automotive Industry: Binder-jetted titanium alloys can be used in high-performance automotive components where weight reduction and strength are critical, such as in racing applications or electric vehicles.


Marine Applications: The corrosion resistance of Ti64 makes it suitable for marine components exposed to harsh saltwater environments.


Chemical Processing Equipment: The chemical resistance of titanium alloys makes binder-jetted parts suitable for use in chemical processing industries, where corrosion resistance is crucial.


Customized Tooling: The ability to produce complex geometries with binder jetting allows for the creation of customized tools and fixtures for manufacturing processes.


Heat Exchangers: The thermal properties of titanium alloys, combined with the design freedom offered by binder jetting, make it possible to create efficient heat exchangers for various industries.


3. Cobalt Alloys


Binder jetting of cobalt alloys, such as WC-Co (tungsten carbide-cobalt), offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by the powder characteristics, binder type, and post-processing treatment.


Mechanical Properties


Density and Porosity: Binder-jetted WC-Co parts typically exhibit lower initial densities due to the nature of the binder jetting process. However, the use of nanoparticle additives in the binder can increase the packing density of the powder bed and improve sintering properties, resulting in higher final part densities. Achieving high density is crucial for enhancing the mechanical properties of the parts.


Hardness and Wear Resistance: The hardness and wear resistance of binder-jetted WC-Co parts are primarily determined by the cobalt content. An increase in cobalt content generally enhances toughness but reduces hardness and wear resistance. By creating cobalt gradients within the part, it is possible to achieve a balance between hardness and toughness, optimizing the part for specific applications.


Fracture Toughness: The fracture toughness of binder-jetted WC-Co parts can be tailored by adjusting the cobalt content and distribution. Higher cobalt content improves toughness, making the parts more resistant to cracking under dynamic loads.


Microstructure: The microstructure of binder-jetted cobalt alloys can be controlled through sintering conditions. The introduction of nanoparticles can lead to a more uniform microstructure with improved mechanical properties. The ability to create complex internal structures, such as integrated cooling channels, is a significant advantage of binder jetting.


Applications


Cutting Tools: WC-Co alloys are widely used in cutting tools for turning, milling, and drilling due to their high hardness and wear resistance. Binder jetting allows for the production of complex tool geometries with integrated cooling channels, enhancing tool performance and lifespan.


Aerospace Components: The high strength and wear resistance of cobalt alloys make them suitable for aerospace applications, such as turbine blades and other high-stress components. Binder jetting enables the production of lightweight, complex parts that can withstand harsh operating conditions.


Medical Devices: Cobalt-chromium alloys produced via binder jetting are used in medical implants and dental prosthetics due to their biocompatibility and excellent mechanical properties. The ability to create customized, patient-specific implants is a significant advantage.


Wear-resistant Coatings: Binder-jetted cobalt alloys can be used to produce wear-resistant coatings for industrial machinery and equipment. These coatings extend the lifespan of components exposed to abrasive environments.


Energy Sector: Cobalt alloys are used in the energy sector for components such as valve seats and pump impellers, where high wear resistance and toughness are required. Binder jetting allows for the production of complex, high-performance parts that can operate reliably in demanding conditions.


Tooling and Dies: The ability to produce near-net-shape parts with minimal material waste makes binder jetting an attractive option for creating customized tooling and dies. The high hardness and wear resistance of cobalt alloys ensure long tool life and consistent performance.


4. Nickel-based Superalloys


Binder jetting of nickel-based superalloys offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by the alloy composition, processing parameters, and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


High-Temperature Strength: Nickel-based superalloys produced via binder jetting maintain their strength at elevated temperatures, making them ideal for high-temperature applications.


Creep Resistance: These alloys exhibit excellent creep resistance, which is crucial for components subjected to prolonged stress at high temperatures.


Corrosion Resistance: Binder-jetted nickel-based superalloys demonstrate superior resistance to corrosion, particularly in harsh environments.


Fatigue Strength: The fatigue strength of these alloys is generally high, although it can be influenced by the porosity inherent in the binder jetting process.


Hardness: Nickel-based superalloys produced through binder jetting can achieve high hardness values, contributing to their wear resistance.


Density: While binder jetting can achieve high densities (typically 95-98% of theoretical density after sintering), the final density can affect other mechanical properties.


Applications


Aerospace Components: These alloys are ideal for turbine blades, combustion chambers, and other high-temperature components in aircraft engines.


Gas Turbines: The high-temperature strength and creep resistance make these alloys suitable for various components in industrial gas turbines.


Chemical Processing Equipment: The corrosion resistance of nickel-based superalloys makes them valuable in chemical processing industries, particularly for components exposed to corrosive environments.


Nuclear Reactors: Some nickel-based superalloys are used in nuclear reactors due to their resistance to corrosion and radiation.


Oil and Gas Industry: These alloys find applications in downhole tools, valves, and other components exposed to high temperatures and corrosive environments in oil and gas extraction.


Heat Exchangers: The thermal stability and corrosion resistance of these alloys make them suitable for heat exchanger applications in various industries.


Rocket Propulsion: Certain components in rocket engines benefit from the high-temperature strength and oxidation resistance of nickel-based superalloys.


Medical Implants: Some nickel-based superalloys are biocompatible and can be used in medical implants, leveraging the design freedom offered by binder jetting.


5. Magnetic Shape Memory Alloys


Magnetic Shape Memory Alloys (MSMAs), particularly those based on Ni-Mn-Ga, exhibit unique mechanical properties when processed through binder jetting. The mechanical properties of binder-jetted MSMAs are influenced by several factors, including powder morphology, sintering conditions, and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


Porosity and Density: Binder jetting produces parts with initial densities ranging from 50-65%, necessitating post-print heat treatments to achieve higher densities. The final porosity can be controlled to produce either foam-like porous structures or fully dense parts, depending on the application requirements.


Grain Structure and Size: The microstructure of binder-jetted MSMAs can be tailored through sintering and annealing processes. These treatments affect grain growth and the distribution of phases within the alloy, which in turn influence the mechanical properties such as strength and ductility.


Shape Memory Effect: Binder-jetted MSMAs retain the ability to undergo reversible martensitic transformations, which are essential for their shape memory behavior. This transformation is influenced by the thermal and magnetic history of the material, and proper training can enhance the magnetic-field-induced strain (MFIS) capabilities of the printed parts.


Mechanical Strength: The mechanical strength of binder-jetted MSMAs can be optimized by adjusting the powder characteristics and sintering parameters. Studies have shown that parts with good mechanical strength and reversible shape memory effects can be produced, making them suitable for various functional applications.


Applications


Actuators: MSMAs are ideal for use in actuators due to their ability to change shape in response to magnetic fields. Binder jetting allows for the production of complex actuator designs that can perform intricate movements, making them suitable for applications in robotics, aerospace, and automotive industries.


Medical Devices: The biocompatibility and precise control over mechanical properties make MSMAs suitable for medical devices such as stents, surgical tools, and implants. The ability to produce net-shaped parts with tailored porosity is particularly advantageous for creating lightweight and functional medical components.


Sensors: MSMAs can be used in sensors that detect changes in magnetic fields or temperature. The high sensitivity and rapid response of these materials make them suitable for applications in industrial automation, environmental monitoring, and consumer electronics.


Energy-efficient Cooling Systems: The magnetocaloric effect of MSMAs can be harnessed for energy-efficient cooling systems. Binder jetting allows for the production of complex heat exchanger geometries that enhance the cooling performance and efficiency of these systems.


Micro-scale Devices: The precision and flexibility of binder jetting make it possible to produce micro-scale devices such as micro-actuators and micro-pumps. These devices can be used in applications ranging from microfluidics to precision instrumentation.


6. Magnetic Materials


Binder jetting of magnetic materials, such as NdFeB and Fe-Si alloys, offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by the powder characteristics, binder type, and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


Density and Porosity: Binder-jetted magnetic parts typically exhibit initial densities that are lower than their theoretical maximum, necessitating post-processing steps like sintering and infiltration to achieve higher densities. For instance, NdFeB parts can achieve densities close to 46% of the single crystal density after infiltration with urethane resin.


Mechanical Strength: The mechanical strength of binder-jetted magnetic materials can be optimized through careful control of the sintering process. For example, Fe-6.5Si parts produced via binder jetting and solid-state sintering have demonstrated an ultimate tensile strength of 434 MPa.


Magnetic Properties: Binder-jetted magnetic materials retain their intrinsic magnetic properties post-processing. NdFeB magnets, for instance, show no degradation in magnetic properties after binder jetting and subsequent processing. Fe-6.5Si parts exhibit high saturation magnetization (1.83 T), low coercivity (0.4 Oe), and high relative permeability (10,500).


Microstructure: The microstructure of binder-jetted parts is typically isotropic, with uniform grain sizes and pore distributions. This homogeneity is crucial for maintaining consistent mechanical and magnetic properties across the part


Applications


Permanent Magnets: Binder jetting is used to fabricate near-net-shape NdFeB bonded magnets, which are essential for applications in electric motors, generators, and magnetic sensors. The ability to produce complex shapes with minimal material waste makes this process highly efficient.


Soft Magnetic Components: Fe-Si alloys produced via binder jetting are ideal for use in electrical motors and transformers due to their high magnetic permeability, low core loss, and high electrical resistivity. These properties enhance the efficiency and performance of electromagnetic devices.


Medical Devices: Magnetic materials produced through binder jetting can be used in medical devices such as MRI machines and magnetic drug delivery systems. The ability to create complex geometries and tailored magnetic properties is particularly beneficial for these applications.


Automotive Industry: Binder-jetted magnetic materials are used in various automotive applications, including electric vehicle motors and sensors. The process allows for the production of lightweight, high-performance components that contribute to the overall efficiency of the vehicle.


Aerospace: The aerospace industry benefits from binder-jetted magnetic materials in applications such as actuators, sensors, and magnetic shielding. The ability to produce parts with precise magnetic properties and complex shapes is crucial for advanced aerospace technologies.


7. Copper


Binder jetting of copper offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by various process parameters and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


Density: The sintered density of binder-jetted copper parts is directly proportional to their mechanical properties. Achieving high density is crucial for enhancing the overall performance of the parts.


Tensile Strength: The tensile properties of binder-jetted copper parts are proportional to their sintered density. A reduced density has a significant impact on the tensile strength.


Porosity: Binder-jetted copper parts typically exhibit some level of porosity, which affects their mechanical properties. The use of nanoparticle additives in the binder can increase the packing density of the powder bed and improve sintering properties, resulting in higher final part densities.


Microstructure: The microstructure of binder-jetted copper parts can be controlled through sintering conditions. Proper sintering allows particles to fuse through atomic diffusion, which is crucial for achieving desired mechanical properties.


Shrinkage: During sintering, binder-jetted copper parts experience shrinkage, which must be accounted for in the initial part design.


Applications


Thermal Management Systems: The high thermal conductivity of copper makes binder-jetted parts ideal for creating complex heat exchangers and thermal management components. The ability to fabricate geometrically complex copper shapes can significantly impact the design and performance of these systems.


Electrical Components: Binder jetting allows for the production of intricate copper parts for electrical applications, such as copper windings for motors and generators.


Filters: The ability to create complex geometries makes binder-jetted copper suitable for producing high-performance filters with precise pore sizes and distributions.


Structural Electronics: The combination of electrical conductivity and the ability to create complex shapes makes binder-jetted copper parts valuable for structural electronics applications.


Jewelry and Decorative Items: The ability to produce intricate designs with copper makes binder jetting suitable for creating unique jewelry pieces and decorative items.


Industrial Components: Binder-jetted copper can be used to produce various industrial components that require high thermal or electrical conductivity, such as nozzles, manifolds, and custom fittings.


Prototyping: The relatively fast production times and ability to create complex geometries make binder jetting of copper an attractive option for rapid prototyping of parts that require copper's unique properties.


8. Ceramics


Binder jetting of ceramics offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by various process parameters and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


Density: The final density of binder-jetted ceramic parts is typically lower than those produced by traditional methods. However, the use of nanoparticle additives in the binder can increase the packing density of the powder bed and improve sintering properties, resulting in higher final part densities.


Hardness: Binder-jetted ceramic parts exhibit high levels of hardness, which is characteristic of ceramic materials. The hardness can be further enhanced through optimized sintering processes.


Thermal Properties: Ceramic parts produced via binder jetting demonstrate excellent thermal conductivity and thermal stability. These properties make them suitable for high-temperature applications.


Resistance: Binder-jetted ceramic components show high resistance to abrasion, chemicals, corrosion, erosion, and oxidation. This makes them ideal for use in harsh environments.


Porosity: The ability to control porosity in binder-jetted ceramics allows for the creation of parts with tailored properties, such as controlled fluid flow or thermal insulation.


Microstructure: The microstructure of binder-jetted ceramics can be controlled through sintering conditions. Proper sintering allows for the development of desired grain structures, which directly influence the mechanical properties of the final part.


Applications


Aerospace Components: The high thermal stability and resistance to oxidation make binder-jetted ceramics suitable for aerospace applications, such as heat shields and engine components.


Biomedical Implants: The ability to create complex geometries with controlled porosity makes binder-jetted ceramics ideal for biomedical implants, such as bone scaffolds and dental prosthetics.


Electronic Components: Ceramics like Aluminum Nitride (AlN) produced via binder jetting can be used in electronic applications requiring high thermal conductivity and electrical insulation.


Filters and Catalysts: The controlled porosity achievable with binder jetting allows for the creation of efficient filters and catalyst supports for chemical processing industries.


Tooling and Wear-Resistant Parts: Ceramics like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Tungsten Carbide Cobalt (WC-Co) produced via binder jetting are used in cutting tools and wear-resistant components due to their hardness and abrasion resistance.


Energy Sector: Binder-jetted ceramics find applications in fuel cells, batteries, and solar energy systems due to their thermal and chemical stability.


Optical Components: The ability to produce complex shapes with high precision makes binder jetting suitable for creating ceramic optical components and mirrors.


Art and Design: The freedom of design offered by binder jetting allows for the creation of intricate ceramic sculptures and decorative items.


9. Alumina


Binder jetting of alumina offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by various process parameters and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


Density: Binder-jetted alumina parts typically achieve densities of 95-98% of theoretical density after sintering. The final density significantly impacts other mechanical properties.


Hardness: Alumina is known for its high hardness, and binder-jetted alumina parts maintain this property. Typical hardness values range from 1500 to 1900 HV, depending on the sintering conditions and final density.


Compressive Strength: Binder-jetted alumina exhibits excellent compressive strength, typically ranging from 2000 to 2500 MPa.


Flexural Strength: The flexural strength of binder-jetted alumina parts is generally in the range of 300-400 MPa, which is suitable for various load-bearing applications.


Thermal Properties: Alumina has excellent thermal stability and low thermal conductivity. Binder-jetted alumina parts maintain these properties, making them suitable for high-temperature applications.


Wear Resistance: The high hardness of alumina translates to excellent wear resistance in binder-jetted parts, making them suitable for applications involving abrasive environments.


Applications


Biomedical Implants: The biocompatibility and wear resistance of alumina make it suitable for dental implants and orthopedic components produced via binder jetting.


Electrical Insulators: Alumina's excellent electrical insulation properties make binder-jetted parts ideal for various electrical and electronic applications.


Wear-Resistant Components: The high hardness and wear resistance of alumina make binder-jetted parts suitable for applications in abrasive environments, such as pump components and valve seats.


Thermal Management: Despite its low thermal conductivity, the thermal stability of alumina makes it useful for components in high-temperature environments, such as furnace components or heat shields.


Filters: The ability to control porosity in binder jetting allows for the creation of alumina filters with precise pore sizes for various filtration applications.


Catalyst Supports: Binder-jetted alumina structures can serve as catalyst supports in chemical processing industries, taking advantage of alumina's chemical stability and high surface area.


Aerospace Components: The combination of low density and high strength makes binder-jetted alumina suitable for certain aerospace applications, particularly in high-temperature environments.


Customized Tooling: The wear resistance and thermal stability of alumina make binder-jetted parts useful for specialized tooling applications in manufacturing processes.


10. Porcelain


Binder jetting of porcelain offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by various process parameters and post-processing treatments.


Mechanical Properties


Density and Porosity: Binder-jetted porcelain parts typically exhibit lower initial densities due to the nature of the binder jetting process. Achieving high density is crucial for enhancing the mechanical properties of the parts. Post-processing steps such as sintering and infiltration can significantly improve the density and reduce porosity.


Hardness: Porcelain parts produced via binder jetting exhibit high levels of hardness, which is characteristic of ceramic materials. The hardness can be further enhanced through optimized sintering processes.


Strength: The mechanical strength of binder-jetted porcelain parts is influenced by the density and microstructure achieved during sintering. Proper sintering conditions can lead to improved strength, making the parts suitable for various load-bearing applications.


Thermal Properties: Porcelain parts produced via binder jetting demonstrate excellent thermal stability and thermal conductivity. These properties make them suitable for high-temperature applications.


Microstructure: The microstructure of binder-jetted porcelain can be controlled through sintering conditions. Proper sintering allows for the development of desired grain structures, which directly influence the mechanical properties of the final part.


Shrinkage: During sintering, binder-jetted porcelain parts experience shrinkage, which must be accounted for in the initial part design. Proper control of the sintering process can minimize shrinkage and ensure dimensional accuracy.


Applications


Tableware and Decorative Items: Binder jetting allows for the production of complex and intricate designs in porcelain tableware and decorative items. The ability to create unique shapes and patterns without the limitations of traditional manufacturing methods is a significant advantage.


Architectural Components: The high strength and aesthetic appeal of porcelain make it suitable for architectural applications, such as tiles, facades, and decorative elements. Binder jetting enables the creation of custom designs and complex geometries that enhance the visual appeal of architectural projects.


Dental Applications: Porcelain is widely used in dental applications due to its biocompatibility and aesthetic properties. Binder jetting allows for the production of custom dental prosthetics, such as crowns and bridges, with precise fit and high-quality finish.


Art and Sculpture: The freedom of design offered by binder jetting allows artists to create intricate and detailed porcelain sculptures. The ability to produce complex shapes and fine details enhances the creative possibilities for artists working with porcelain.


Industrial Components: Porcelain's resistance to abrasion, chemicals, and high temperatures makes it suitable for various industrial applications. Binder-jetted porcelain parts can be used in components such as insulators, wear-resistant parts, and chemical processing equipment.


Filters and Catalysts: The controlled porosity achievable with binder jetting allows for the creation of efficient filters and catalyst supports for chemical processing industries. Porcelain's chemical resistance and thermal stability make it an ideal material for these applications.


11. Metal Matrix Composites


Binder jetting of metal matrix composites offers unique mechanical properties that are influenced by the matrix material, reinforcement type, and processing parameters.


Mechanical Properties


Density: The final density of binder-jetted MMCs can vary depending on the sintering process and composition. Typically, densities of 95-98% of theoretical density can be achieved with proper post-processing.


Hardness: MMCs produced via binder jetting exhibit increased hardness compared to the unreinforced matrix material. The hardness can be tailored by adjusting the type and amount of reinforcement.


Strength: Binder-jetted MMCs generally show improved strength compared to the base metal. The strength can be further enhanced through optimization of the sintering process and reinforcement distribution.


Wear Resistance: The addition of hard ceramic particles as reinforcement significantly improves the wear resistance of binder-jetted MMC parts.


Thermal Properties: Depending on the reinforcement, MMCs can exhibit enhanced thermal conductivity or improved thermal stability compared to the base metal.


Stiffness: The addition of ceramic reinforcements typically increases the stiffness of the composite compared to the unreinforced metal.


Applications


Aerospace Components: MMCs produced via binder jetting can be used in aerospace applications where high strength-to-weight ratio and wear resistance are crucial, such as in engine components or structural parts.


Automotive Industry: Binder-jetted MMCs find applications in brake rotors, pistons, and other components that require high wear resistance and thermal stability.


Cutting Tools: The improved hardness and wear resistance of MMCs make them suitable for cutting tool applications, especially for machining hard materials.


Thermal Management: MMCs with high thermal conductivity can be used in heat sinks and other thermal management components, taking advantage of the design freedom offered by binder jetting.


Armor Applications: The ability to create complex geometries combined with the high strength and impact resistance of certain MMCs makes binder jetting suitable for producing advanced armor components.


Electronic Packaging: MMCs with tailored thermal expansion coefficients can be used in electronic packaging applications where thermal management is critical.


Sports Equipment: The high strength-to-weight ratio of certain MMCs makes them attractive for high-performance sports equipment.


Industrial Wear Components: Binder-jetted MMC parts can be used in various industrial applications where high wear resistance is required, such as in mining or oil and gas industries.



Resource:

[1] Amir Mostafaei, Amy M. Elliott, John E. Barnes, Fangzhou Li, Wenda Tan, Corson L. Cramer, Peeyush Nandwana, Markus Chmielus. " Binder jet 3D printing—Process parameters, materials, properties, modeling, and challenges" Available online 15 June 2020, Version of Record 29 April 2021,  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079642520300712#s0230.


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