Additive manufacturing of a precious bulk metallic glass

For the first time, a high-density amorphous and crack-free bulk metallic glass (BMG) based on a precious metal (PdCuNiP) was produced via additive manufacturing (AM). Laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) was used for the fabrication of the samples, and led to a density of 99.6%. Excellent mechanical properties such as high hardness and compressive strength were achieved, overcoming the limitations usually found for precious metals in jewelry and watchmaking. Furthermore, without any post-processing, a mirror-like smooth and brilliant surface was directly obtained, which is highly beneficial for applications where surface finish or aesthetics matters. The effect of the main processing parameters, such as laser power and laser-scanning speed, on the shape of single tracks was investigated by laser confocal microscopy (LCM). Following the single-track experiments, highly amorphous LPBF samples were produced. The samples were characterized by optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), conventional and synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD), micro-computed tomography (μ-CT), compression tests, and microhardness. The crystallization kinetics of the powder alloy was investigated via fast differential scanning calorimetry (FDSC). A small quantity of the powder (< 70 g) was used for the fabrication of samples, alleviating the cost of the process. Efficient production of precious metal parts with enhanced mechanical properties is demonstrated.

Source: Applied Materials Today