Laser Powder Bed Fusion of Multiple Materials Ceramic and Metal Functional Components

  • Dongxu Cheng

Student thesis: Phd


Integrated ceramic and metal components possess a broad application potential by combining complementary properties of ceramic and metal. Because ceramic and metal have significant material property mismatch and relatively high processing temperatures, the manufacturing of ceramic and metal components via multiple material additive manufacturing is challenging and is rarely reported. This PhD project aims to extend the multiple material additive manufacturing method to fabricate ceramic and metal integrated functional components in three high-valued fields: electrical products, biomedical implants and energy storage components. To fabricate the 3D ceramic/metal electronic components, multiple material laser powder bed fusion method is used to process Cu and α-spodumene glass-ceramic. By employing CuO sintering additive and suitable laser parameters, up to 92 % relative density of the glass-ceramic is realised. Cu wires and plates are successfully printed and embedded with glass-ceramic by applying suitable laser parameters and scanning strategies. A multiple-layer 3D circuit, a capacitor and a thermal sensor are successfully printed. Their performances are examined to demonstrate the potential of multiple material laser powder bed fusion for fabricating 3D electronic components. By employing the excellent wear-resistance of ceramic and good fatigue resistance of Ti alloy, integrated ceramic and metal components are successfully printed using the multiple material laser powder bed fusion method. Using the advantage of the layer-by-layer building method of additive manufacturing technique, the interface morphology and material composition at the bonding area can be adjusted to improve the bonding strength. Metallurgical bonding, mechanical interlocking and functional graded material are employed to bond the ceramic and metal via multiple material laser powder bed fusion. The biocompatibility of printed hybrid ceramic and metal components is examined. This research demonstrates that the fabrication of glass-ceramic and Ti6Al4V via multiple material laser powder bed fusion can combine the physical properties and advantages of ceramic and metal, without compromising their biological performance. The properties of ceramic and metal in electrochemical and electrical conductivity are combined to fabricate an integrated working electrode for Li-ion battery. 3D C-Si-SiC composite structure is sintered on the copper foil via laser printing. The sintering mechanism of 3D C-Si-SiC composite structure and the bonding mechanism of 3D SiC composite structure with Cu substrate are revealed via various material characterisation methods (SEM-EDS, TEM-EDS, XRD and Raman). By examining the electrochemical properties of the integrated SiC/Cu working electrode, the result shows that the battery performance of the laser-printed integrated SiC/Cu electrode is better than that of SiC electrode made by the conventional method. It indicates that the multiple material laser powder bed fusion has the potential to produce energy storage components. This PhD project provides new strategies for the printing of ceramic and metal multimaterials and the potential application in three high-value fields.
Date of Award31 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorLin Li (Supervisor) & Zhu Liu (Supervisor)


  • bio-implant
  • electronic product
  • functional component
  • ceramic
  • Li-ion battery
  • multiple material
  • laser powder bed fusion
  • Additive manufacturing
  • metal

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