Design and Optimizing Laser-Based 3D Printing of Metallic Glass: A Systematic Study of the Joining and Crystallization Mechanisms of Amorphous Structures under Laser Irradiation

Project: Research

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Since the 1960s, metallic glass (MG) has been attracting tremendous research interest because of its unique combination of structural/functional properties, such as superb strength, high elastic limit, excellent thermoplastic formability, superior biocompatibility and etc. After decades of enduring efforts, today the research of MGs is mostly centered in finding new applications. In the literature, the new use of MGs has been frequently reported for a wide range of applications, such as renewable energy, healthcare, thin film technology, nano-devices and biomedical implants. Although the applications of MGs start booming, however, some longstanding issues still remain, among which one is the limitation of the obtainable size of bulk metallic glass (BMG) and another is the room-temperature brittleness. These ‘roadblocks’ have been hurdling the use of BMGs, particularly for structural applications in which BMGs outweigh most existing structural materials in strength.To solve these problems, one possible solution that has been enthusiastically discussed recently is the use of the 3D printing technique on MGs. Through this layer additive technique (3D printing), we may build up BMGs in any shape/size with small-sized MG powders. Furthermore, it is envisioned that we may gain a control of the amorphous microstructure by carefully selecting the operational parameters of 3D printing such that the brittleness issue of BMGs can be resolved. Despite its promise, the research in 3D printing of MGs is still in its infant stage. There are quite a few fundamental/technical issues yet to be solved, such as the design of a MG alloy suitable for 3D printing, understanding the crystallization dynamics of small-sized MG powder under laser irradiation and etc. The proposal of the joint research between CityU and CAS is aimed to address these issues with their respective strength in alloy design, theoretical modeling, nanomechanical characterization and numerical simulations. For this joint research, our goal is to develop a 3D printing protocol and also a suitable MG alloy which fit each other in the production of strong yet ductile 3D printed MG samples. In the long run, a platform, as initiated through this project, will be established to bridge the two institutions, based respectively in Hong Kong and mainland China, in the MG-based 3D printing research for the support of the local manufacturing industries.


Project number9054013
Grant typeNSFC
Effective start/end date1/01/1531/01/19