Schematic illustration of the energy density distribution
16.04.2024 •

Controlling the Glassy State toward Structural and Mechanical Enhancement: Additive Manufacturing of Bulk Metallic Glass Using Advanced Laser Beam Shaping Technology


Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) offer exceptional physical/mechanical properties enabling them to be highly desirable for a variety of applications. Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) has great promise for producing large and intricate BMG structures. However, using non-optimal energy distribution in current additive manufacturing machines leads to extensive reheating of previously solidified layers. As a result, the mechanical characteristics can be significantly impacted by structural relaxation and partial crystallization. Here, a tunable advanced laser beam shaping technology is employed to overcome the difficulties originating from non-optimal energy distribution in current additive manufacturing machines. This study fabricates fully amorphous/dense BMG samples using the shaped laser beam and established optimized atomic-scale short-and medium-range ordering along with improved yield/fracture compressive strength. Formation of a shallow and wide melting pool geometry using the beam shaping allows to increase hatching distances to better control the thermal history introducing improved amorphicity and rejuvenation. This higher rejuvenation and disordering allow for increased atomic mobility, which facilitates the creation and spread of shear bands, thus enhancing the mechanical strength and ductility of the material. The current work demonstrates that BMG parts can be fabricated using flexible beam-shaping technology allowing to go beyond the capabilities of state-of-the-art additive manufacturing techniques.