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Direct selective laser sintering and melting of ceramics: a review

Swee Leong Sing (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Wai Yee Yeong (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Florencia Edith Wiria (Department of Joining Technology, Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, Singapore)
Bee Yen Tay (Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, Singapore)
Ziqiang Zhao (China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group, Beijing, China)
Lin Zhao (China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group, Beijing, China)
Zhiling Tian (China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group, Beijing, China)
Shoufeng Yang (Department of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

4565

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a review on the process of additive manufacturing of ceramic materials, focusing on partial and full melting of ceramic powder by a high-energy laser beam without the use of binders.

Design/methodology/approach

Selective laser sintering or melting (SLS/SLM) techniques are first introduced, followed by analysis of results from silica (SiO2), zirconia (ZrO2) and ceramic-reinforced metal matrix composites processed by direct laser sintering and melting.

Findings

At the current state of technology, it is still a challenge to fabricate dense ceramic components directly using SLS/SLM. Critical challenges encountered during direct laser melting of ceramic will be discussed, including deposition of ceramic powder layer, interaction between laser and powder particles, dynamic melting and consolidation mechanism of the process and the presence of residual stresses in ceramics processed via SLS/SLM.

Originality/value

Despite the challenges, SLS/SLM still has the potential in fabrication of ceramics. Additional research is needed to understand and establish the optimal interaction between the laser beam and ceramic powder bed for full density part fabrication. Looking into the future, other melting-based techniques for ceramic and composites are presented, along with their potential applications.

Keywords

Citation

Sing, S.L., Yeong, W.Y., Wiria, F.E., Tay, B.Y., Zhao, Z., Zhao, L., Tian, Z. and Yang, S. (2017), "Direct selective laser sintering and melting of ceramics: a review", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 611-623. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-11-2015-0178

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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