Science Club | 3D-printing of shape memory alloys – smart manufacturing of smart materials

Explore this timely collaboration between Swiss and Korean researchers in the field of metal and composite material additive manufacturing.

This month's speakers

“3D-printing of shape memory alloys – smart manufacturing of smart materials”

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) has established itself in recent years as a useful tool for producing complex geometric components with novel properties and functionalities. At the same time, laser-based additive manufacturing processes offer the possibility of processing new types of metal alloys or composite materials that are difficult or impossible to process with conventional manufacturing processes.

The aim of this cooperation project between the Alloy Design for Advanced Processing Technologies (ADAPT) group at Empa and the Advanced Surface Coatings & Processing group from Korean Institute for Industrial Technology (KITECH) is to develop a cost-effective shape memory alloy (FGL) based on Fe and its processing by means of additive manufacturing as well as the development of new functional, three-dimensional structures that use the unique properties of the SMA and that can only be produced in 3D printing.

First of all, the basic processability of the SMA should be demonstrated using laser-based additive manufacturing processes and its microstructure and thermo-mechanical properties such as pseudo-elasticity and shape memory effect should be characterized depending on the process parameters.

Then novel complex-geometric structures and components are designed on the basis of computer simulations with unusual mechanical properties that cannot be achieved with conventional materials. The component geometries are inspired by potential applications in construction for which these material properties are important (e.g. seismic dampers).