Aluminum with dispersed nanoparticles by laser additive manufacturing
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12047-2
While laser-printed metals do not tend to match the mechanical properties and thermal stability of conventionally-processed metals, incorporating and dispersing nanoparticles in them should enhance their performance. However, this remains difficult to do during laser additive manufacturing. Here, we show that aluminum reinforced by nanoparticles can be deposited layer-by-layer via laser melting of nanocomposite powders, which enhance the laser absorption by almost one order of magnitude compared to pure aluminum powders. The laser printed nanocomposite delivers a yield strength of up to 1000 MPa, plasticity over 10%, and Young's modulus of approximately 200 GPa, offering one of the highest specific Young's modulus and specific yield strengths among structural metals, as well as an improved specific strength and thermal stability up to 400 °C compared to other aluminum-based materials. The improved performance is attributed to a high density of well-dispersed nanoparticles, strong interfacial bonding between nanoparticles and Al matrix, and ultrafine grain sizes.