Mar 07, 2021
At present, the application of copper materials in the field of additive manufacturing still faces technical challenges. In the metal powder additive manufacturing process, if the commonly used laser powder bed melting band is adopted, only a small part of the energy will be absorbed by the material, which is also an important reason why it is difficult to produce high-density 3D printed parts.
Researchers led by Professor Ulf Jansson of Uppsala University used Graphmatech's graphene technology to change the surface properties of copper powder and successfully reduced its reflectivity by 67%. The specific method is that the researchers coated the surface of copper powder with graphene, which changed the surface morphology, conductivity, and roughness of the metal powder, thereby improving the way the laser interacts with the surface of the metal powder and improving the absorption performance.
As we all know, copper is widely used in automotive parts and electronic products (and many other industrial applications) due to its ductility and high conductivity. But given the reflectivity of copper, it has been challenging to manufacture parts through additive manufacturing. Therefore, copper parts can only be produced with high energy consumption, low efficiency and low design flexibility.
The use of graphene technology can improve the processability of copper, increase yield and reduce waste. It has obvious advantages in cost.
Graphmatech CEO Mamoun Taher finally pointed out that the combination of graphene and copper also has great potential in corrosion resistance and antibacterial properties. Other applications include more efficient sustainable manufacturing, lightweight production of automotive and aerospace parts, and more efficient electronic products.