In this work we have been using the “4M-System” (Machine for Multi-Material-Manufacturing-Machine) which was developed by RHP Technology for the manufacturing of Titanium Metal Matrix Composites. This equipment allows the Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) of large structures and uses a Plasma Transferred Arc (PTA) as a heat source for depositing feedstocks (powder/wire) layer by layer onto a substrate.
In our study we have deposited test coupons of Titanium powders with different concentrations of B4C particles to form a Metal Matrix Composite. Various processing parameters such as deposition rate, travel speed of the torch as well as plasma parameters (power/current/gas flow) have been assessed for getting pore- and crack-free samples. After deposition specimens were cut and the cross sections were analysed by optical- and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore the hardness and tensile strength was tested. Composite Materials resulted in higher strength and Young´s modulus in comparison to the pure matrix.
Using the additive layer process it is possible to fabricate on the one hand large structures but it is also possible to realize gradient structures or multi-material concepts.