Additive manufacturing (AM), widely known as 3D printing, is a method of manufacturing that forms parts from powder, wire or sheets in a process that proceeds layer by layer. Many techniques (using many different names) have been developed to accomplish this via melting or solid-state joining. In this review, these techniques for producing metal parts are explored, with a focus on the science of metal AM: processing defects, heat transfer, solidification, solid-state precipitation, mechanical properties and post-processing metallurgy. The various metal AM techniques are compared, with analysis of the strengths and limitations of each. Only a few alloys have been developed for commercial production, but recent efforts are presented as a path for the ongoing development of new materials for AM processes.
Unlike conventional materials removal methods, additive manufacturing (AM) is based on a novel materials incremental manufacturing philosophy. Additive manufacturing implies layer by layer shaping and consolidation of powder feedstock to arbitrary configurations, normally using a computer controlled laser. The current development focus of AM is to produce complex shaped functional metallic components, including metals, alloys and metal matrix composites (MMCs), to meet demanding requirements from aerospace, defence, automotive and biomedical industries. Laser sintering (LS), laser melting (LM) and laser metal deposition (LMD) are presently regarded as the three most versatile AM processes. Laser based AM processes generally have a complex non-equilibrium physical and chemical metallurgical nature, which is material and process dependent. The influence of material characteristics and processing conditions on metallurgical mechanisms and resultant microstructural and mechanical properties of AM processed components needs to be clarified. The present review initially defines LS/LM/LMD processes and operative consolidation mechanisms for metallic components. Powder materials used for AM, in the categories of pure metal powder, prealloyed powder and multicomponent metals/alloys/MMCs powder, and associated densification mechanisms during AM are addressed. An in depth review is then presented of material and process aspects of AM, including physical aspects of materials for AM and microstructural and mechanical properties of AM processed components. The overall objective is to establish a relationship between material, process, and metallurgical mechanism for laser based AM of metallic components.
X-ray computer tomography (CT) is fast becoming an accepted tool within the materials science community for the acquisition of 3D images. Here the authors review the current state of the art as CT transforms from a qualitative diagnostic tool to a quantitative one. Our review considers first the image acquisition process, including the use of iterative reconstruction strategies suited to specific segmentation tasks and emerging methods that provide more insight (e.g. fast and high resolution imaging, crystallite (grain) imaging) than conventional attenuation based tomography. Methods and shortcomings of CT are examined for the quantification of 3D volumetric data to extract key topological parameters such as phase fractions, phase contiguity, and damage levels as well as density variations. As a non-destructive technique, CT is an ideal means of following structural development over time via time lapse sequences of 3D images (sometimes called 3D movies or 4D imaging). This includes information needed to optimise manufacturing processes, for example sintering or solidification, or to highlight the proclivity of specific degradation processes under service conditions, such as intergranular corrosion or fatigue crack growth. Besides the repeated application of static 3D image quantification to track such changes, digital volume correlation (DVC) and particle tracking (PT) methods are enabling the mapping of deformation in 3D over time. Finally the use of CT images is considered as the starting point for numerical modelling based on realistic microstructures, for example to predict flow through porous materials, the crystalline deformation of polycrystalline aggregates or the mechanical properties of composite materials.
High-entropy alloys (HEAs) are a relatively new class of materials that have gained considerable attention from the metallurgical research community over recent years. They are characterised by their unconventional compositions, in that they are not based around a single major component, but rather comprise multiple principal alloying elements. Four core effects have been proposed in HEAs: (1) the entropic stabilisation of solid solutions, (2) the severe distortion of their lattices, (3) sluggish diffusion kinetics and (4) that properties are derived from a cocktail effect. By assessing these claims on the basis of existing experimental evidence in the literature, as well as classical metallurgical understanding, it is concluded that the significance of these effects may not be as great as initially believed. The effect of entropic stabilisation does not appear to be overarching, insufficient evidence exists to establish the strain in the lattices of HEAs, and rapid precipitation observed in some HEAs suggests their diffusion kinetics are not necessarily anomalously slow in comparison to conventional alloys. The meaning and influence of the cocktail effect is also a matter for debate. Nevertheless, it is clear that HEAs represent a stimulating opportunity for the metallurgical research community. The complex nature of their compositions means that the discovery of alloys with unusual and attractive properties is inevitable. It is suggested that future activity regarding these alloys seeks to establish the nature of their physical metallurgy, and develop them for practical applications. Their use as structural materials is one of the most promising and exciting opportunities. To realise this ambition, methods to rapidly predict phase equilibria and select suitable HEA compositions are needed, and this constitutes a significant challenge. However, while this obstacle might be considerable, the rewards associated with its conquest are even more substantial. Similarly, the challenges associated with comprehending the behaviour of alloys with complex compositions are great, but the potential to enhance our fundamental metallurgical understanding is more remarkable. Consequently, HEAs represent one of the most stimulating and promising research fields in materials science at present.
Thermoelectric (TE) materials facilitate direct heat-to-electricity conversion. The performance of a TE material is characterised by its figure of merit zT (=S 2 σT/κ) that depends on both electronic transport properties, i.e. the Seebeck coefficient S and the electrical conductivity σ, and on thermal transport properties, i.e. the thermal conductivity κ of a material. The intrinsically counter-correlated behaviour between electronic and thermal transport properties makes the enhancement of zT a very challenging task. In the past 10 years, the zTs in bulk TE materials have been significantly enhanced due to intensive exploratory efforts, the discovery of new physical phenomena and effects, and applications of advanced synthesis methods. In this review, we summarise the recent progress in bulk TE materials. After the introduction of fundamental principles of thermoelectricity, the recently achieved enhancements in the TE performance encompassing the use of electronic band structure engineering, lattice phonon engineering and nanostructure tailoring will be emphasised. Next, the highlights of typical TE materials will be presented, focusing especially on the great progress achieved during the past decade. Finally, new techniques and approaches developed to fabricate TE materials will be outlined and their impact on the performance and economic viability of large-scale TE applications will be considered. The progress made during the past dozen or so years provides great opportunities for the use of bulk TE materials in a much broader range of applications and bodes well for a more efficient utilisation of energy.
This review summarises the research work carried out in the field of carbon nanotube (CNT) metal matrix composites (MMCs). Much research has been undertaken in utilising CNTs as reinforcement for composite material. However, CNT-reinforced MMCs have received the least attention. These composites are being projected for use in structural applications for their high specific strength as well as functional materials for their exciting thermal and electrical characteristics. The present review focuses on the critical issues of CNT-reinforced MMCs that include processing techniques, nanotube dispersion, interface, strengthening mechanisms and mechanical properties. Processing techniques used for synthesis of the composites have been critically reviewed with an objective to achieve homogeneous distribution of carbon nanotubes in the matrix. The mechanical property improvements achieved by addition of CNTs in various metal matrix systems are summarised. The factors determining strengthening achieved by CNT reinforcement are elucidated as are the structural and chemical stability of CNTs in different metal matrixes and the importance of the CNT/metal interface has been reviewed. The importance of CNT dispersion and its quantification is highlighted. Carbon nanotube reinforced MMCs as functional materials are summarised. Future work that needs attention is addressed.
The MAX phases are a group of layered ternary compounds with the general formula M n+1 AX n (M: early transition metal; A: group A element; X: C and/or N; n = 1-3), which combine some properties of metals, such as good electrical and thermal conductivity, machinability, low hardness, thermal shock resistance and damage tolerance, with those of ceramics, such as high elastic moduli, high temperature strength, and oxidation and corrosion resistance. The publication of papers on the MAX phases has shown an almost exponential increase in the past decade. The existence of further MAX phases has been reported or proposed. In addition to surveying this activity, the synthesis of MAX phases in the forms of bulk, films and powders is reviewed, together with their physical, mechanical and corrosion/oxidation properties. Recent research and development has revealed potential for the practical application of the MAX phases (particularly using the pressureless sintering and physical vapour deposition coating routes) as well as of MAX based composites. The challenges for the immediate future are to explore further and characterise the MAX phases reported to date and to make further progress in facilitating their industrial application.
Besides the excellent high-temperature mechanical properties, Si 3 N 4 and SiC based ceramics containing insulating or electrically conductive phase are attractive for their tunable dielectric properties, which may vary from electromagnetic (EM) wave transparent to absorption and shielding. Consequently, SiC, Si 3 N 4 , SiON, SiBN, SiBC, SiCN and SiBCN ceramics have attracted extensive interest in recent years. SiO 2 , Si 3 N 4 , Si 3 N 4 -SiO 2 , Si 3 N 4 -BN, and Si 3 N 4 -SiO 2 -BN are promising EM wave transparent materials for applications in microelectronic packaging, microwave transparent reaction chamber, radome and antenna window. C, SiC, SiC-C, Si 3 N 4 -C and Si 3 N 4 -SiC are potential EM wave shielding materials, which can be used as electronic packaging of highly integrated circuits, and be used in wireless communication system, telecommunication base stations and the other electronic devices. Si 3 N 4 -SiBC, Si 3 N 4 -SiCN and Si 3 N 4 -SiBCN are attractive EM wave absorbing materials for potential applications in amplifier, accelerator, microwave heating, anechoic chambers, stealth aircraft and ship. Other potential harsh environment or high-temperature applications will also benefit from the Si-C-N ceramic system. The concept of hybrid structure and EM metamaterials (MMS) opens up new avenues in developing EM wave absorption materials. The key developments and future challenges in this field are summarised. The main issues regarding permittivity of high-temperature structural ceramics are discussed, with an emphasis on the EM wave transparent, shielding and absorbing mechanisms that are responsible for the EM wave properties.
In addition to the constant demand of low-loss dielectric materials for wireless telecommunication, the recent progress in the Internet of Things (IoT), the Tactile Internet (fifth generation wireless systems), the Industrial Internet, satellite broadcasting and intelligent transport systems (ITS) has put more pressure on their development with modern component fabrication techniques. Oxide ceramics are critical for these applications, and a full understanding of their crystal chemistry is fundamental for future development. Properties of microwave ceramics depend on several parameters including their composition, the purity of starting materials, processing conditions and their ultimate densification/porosity. In this review the data for all reported low-loss microwave dielectric ceramic materials are collected and tabulated. The table of these materials gives the relative permittivity, quality factor, temperature variation of the resonant frequency, crystal structure, sintering temperature, measurement frequency and references. In addition, the methods commonly employed for measuring the microwave dielectric properties, important from the applications point of view, factors affecting the dielectric loss, methods to tailor the dielectric properties and materials for future applications, are briefly described. The data will be very useful for scientists, industrialists, engineers and students working on current and emerging applications of wireless communications.
This review aims to summarise the progress in some materials and structures for electromagnetic applications, such as microwave absorption, electric shielding and antenna designs, which have been developed in recent years. Composites with spherical powders for microwave absorption focus mainly on those based on ferrites (especially hexagonal), carbonyl iron and related alloys and various newly emerged nanosized materials. Composites with long conductive fibres as fillers will be summarised, with speical attentions to prediction, measurment and evaluation of their performances. Metamaterials include structures for microwave absorbing applications, tunable materials or structures with reflection or transmission coefficients that are tunable by external magnetic or electric fields, and specially designed structures for microwave absorbing applications, with thickness much smaller than that of conventional composite materials and performances that can be optimised by the physical properties of substrates, and new metamaterials constructed with ferrite cores wound by metallic wire coils that exhibited unique magnetic properties, with extremely high real and imaginary permeability, which are adjustable or tunable by varying their configurations. Magnetodielectric materials, with matching permeability and permittivity, together with sufficiently low magnetic and dielectric loss tangents, with potential applications in antenna miniaturisation, will be discussed.
The current status of research and development in Fe-based bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) is reviewed. Bulk metallic glasses are relatively new materials possessing a glassy structure and large section thickness. These materials have an exciting combination of properties such as high mechanical strength, good thermal stability, large supercooled liquid region and potential for easy forming. Ever since the first synthesis of an Fe-based BMG in an Fe-Al-Ga-P-C-B system in 1995, there has been intense activity on the synthesis and characterisation of Fe-based BMGs. These BMGs exhibit some unique characteristics which have not been obtained in conventional Fe-based crystalline alloys. This uniqueness has led to practical uses of these bulk glassy alloys as soft magnetic and structural materials. This review presents the recent results on the glass-forming ability, structure, thermal stability, mechanical properties, corrosion behaviour, soft magnetic properties and applications of Fe-based bulk glassy alloys developed during the last 15 years. This review also highlights the advanced analysis of their properties which has contributed significantly to the progress in understanding and developing of the Fe-based BMGs. The future prospects of Fe-based BMGs have also been presented.
Porous ceramics are now expected to be used for a wide variety of industrial applications from filtration, absorption, catalysts and catalyst supports to lightweight structural components. During the last decade, tremendous efforts have been devoted for the researches on innovative processing technologies of porous ceramics, resulting in better control of the porous structures and substantial improvements of the properties. This article intends to review these recent progresses of porous ceramics. Because of a vast amount of research works reported in this field these days, the review mainly focuses on macro-porous ceramics whose pore size is larger than 50 nm. Followed by giving a general classification of porous ceramics, a number of innovative processing routes developed for critical control of pores are described, along with some important properties. The processes are divided into four categories including (i) partial sintering, (ii) sacrificial fugitives, (iii) replica templates and (iv) direct foaming. The partial sintering, the most conventional technique for making porous ceramics, has been substantially sophisticated in recent years. Very homogeneous porous ceramics with extremely narrow size distribution have been successfully prepared through sintering combined with in situ chemical synthesis. Carefully tailored micro-structure (size, morphology and orientation of grains and pores, etc.) of porous ceramics has led to unique mechanical properties, which cannot be attained even in the dense materials. Various types of the sacrificial fugitives have been examined for obtaining well-tuned shape and size of pores. The freeze-drying techniques using water or liquid as fugitive materials have been most frequently studied in recent years. Controlling growth of ice during freezing has led to unique porous structures and excellent performances of porous ceramics, e.g. excellent mechanical behaviour for highly porous lamellar hydroxyl-apatite scaffolds. Numerous approaches on the replica templates have been developed in order to produce highly porous ceramics having interconnected large pores and sufficiently strong struts without cracks. Natural template approaches using wood, for example, as positive replica, have been intensively studied in these years and have realised highly oriented porous open-porous structure with a wide range of porosity. As for the direct foaming technique, a variety of novel techniques which stabilise the bubbles in ceramic suspension have been developed to suppress large pore formation, e.g. evaporation of emulsified alkane droplets and use of surface-modified particles. We also briefly review porous ceramics with hierarchical porosity (incorporation of macro-, meso- and micro-pores), which have attracted much attention in both academic and industrial fields. Finally the article gives the summary and discusses the issues to be solved for further activating the potential of porous ceramics and for expanding their applicability.
Selective electron beam melting (SEBM) belongs to the additive manufacturing technologies which are believed to revolutionise future industrial production. Starting from computer-aided designed data, components are built layer by layer within a powder bed by selectively melting the powder with a high power electron beam. In contrast to selective laser melting (SLM), which can be used for metals, polymers and ceramics, the application field of the electron beam is restricted to metallic components since electric conductivity is required. On the other hand, the electron beam works under vacuum conditions, can be moved at extremely high velocities and a high beam power is available. These features make SEBM especially interesting for the processing of high-performance alloys. The present review describes SEBM with special focus on the relationship between process characteristics, material consolidation and the resulting materials and component properties.
Shape memory alloys (SMAs) with high transformation temperatures can enable simplifications and improvements in operating efficiency of many mechanical components designed to operate at temperatures above 100°C, potentially impacting the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing and energy exploration industries. A wide range of these SMAs exists and can be categorised in three groups based on their martensitic transformation temperatures: group I, transformation temperatures in the range of 100-400°C; group II, in the range of 400-700°C; and group III, above 700°C. In addition to the high transformation temperatures, potential high temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs) must also exhibit acceptable recoverable transformation strain levels, long term stability, resistance to plastic deformation and creep, and adequate environmental resistance. These criteria become increasingly more difficult to satisfy as their operating temperatures increase, due to greater involvement of thermally activated mechanisms in their thermomechanical responses. Moreover, poor workability, due to the ordered intermetallic structure of many HTSMA systems, and high material costs pose additional problems for the commercialisation of HTSMAs. In spite of these challenges, progress has been made through compositional control, alloying, and the application of various thermomechanical processing techniques to the point that several likely applications have been demonstrated in alloys such as Ti-Ni-Pd and Ti-Ni-Pt. In the present work, a comprehensive review of potential HTSMA systems are presented in terms of physical and thermomechanical properties, processing techniques, challenges and applications.
This review critically examines the current state of graphene reinforced metal (GNP-MMC) and ceramic matrix composites (GNP-CMC). The use of graphene as reinforcement for structural materials is motivated by their exceptional mechanical/functional properties and their unique physical/chemical characteristics. This review focuses on MMCs and CMCs because of their technological importance for structural applications and the unique challenges associated with developing high-temperature composites with nanoparticle reinforcements. The review discusses processing techniques, effects of graphene on the mechanical behaviour of GNP-MMCs and GNP-CMCs, including early studies on the tribological performance of graphene-reinforced composites, where graphene has shown signs of serving as a protective and lubricious phase. Additionally, the unique functional properties endowed by graphene to GNP-MMCs and GNP-CMCs, such as enhanced thermal/electrical conductivity, improved oxidation resistance, and excellent biocompatibility are overviewed. Directions for future research endeavours that are needed to advance the field and to propel technological maturation are provided.
The comprehensive body of knowledge that has built up with respect to the friction stir welding (FSW) of aluminium alloys since the technique was invented in 1991 is reviewed. The basic principles of FSW are described, including thermal history and metal flow, before discussing how process parameters affect the weld microstructure and the likelihood of entraining defects. After introducing the characteristic macroscopic features, the microstructural development and related distribution of hardness are reviewed in some detail for the two classes of wrought aluminium alloy (non-heat-treatable and heat-treatable). Finally, the range of mechanical properties that can be achieved is discussed, including consideration of residual stress, fracture, fatigue and corrosion. It is demonstrated that FSW of aluminium is becoming an increasingly mature technology with numerous commercial applications. In spite of this, much remains to be learned about the process and opportunities for further research and development are identified.
This article reviews critically selected recent literature on electrochemical energy storage (EES) technologies, focusing on supercapacitor and also supercapattery which is a generic term for various hybrid devices combining the merits of rechargeable battery and supercapacitor. Fundamentals of EES are explained, aiming at clarification of some literature confusions such as the differences between capacitive and non-capacitive Faradaic charge storage mechanisms, and between cathode and positive electrode (positrode), and between anode and negative electrode (negatrode). In particular, the concept and origin of pseudocapacitance are qualitatively correlated with the band model for semiconductors. Strategies for design and construction of supercapattery are discussed in terms of both the materials structures and device engineering. Selection of materials, including electrolytes, is another topic reviewed selectively. Graphenes and carbon nanotubes are the favourable choice to composite with both capacitive and non-capacitive redox materials for improved kinetics of charge storage processes and charge-discharge cycling stability. Organoaqueous electrolytes show a great potential to enable EES to work at sub-zero temperatures, while solid ion conducting membranes and ionic liquids can help develop high voltage (>4.0 V) and hence high energy supercapatteries.
A comprehensive and integrated review of thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) applied to turbine components is provided. Materials systems, processes, applications, durability issues, technical approaches and progress for improved TBC, and our understanding of the science and technology are discussed. Thermal barrier coating prime reliance and further advances have been hampered by TBC loss by particle impact and erosion in certain locations of the turbine blades. Accumulation of low melting eutectic containing calcia, magnesia, alumina and silica resulting in TBC spallation limits maximum surface temperature. Design methodologies to address durability and data scatter issues are discussed. Compositions, morphology, characteristics and performance data for new bonds to achieve longer TBC life are described. Further reduction in the thermal conductivity of the top layer to minimise the parasitic mass of the coating on the component is being sought via top layer composition and processing modifications as well as by alternate ceramic compositions. The progress in these areas is critically reviewed including processing, stability and durability limitations. The paper also describes effort to understand various failure mechanisms including modelling and simulation.
Small, light weight and multifunctional electronic components are attracting much attention because of the rapid growth of the wireless communication systems and microwave products in the consumer electronic market. The component manufacturers are thus forced to search for new advanced integration, packaging and interconnection technologies. One solution is the low temperature cofired ceramic (LTCC) technology enabling fabrication of three-dimensional ceramic modules with low dielectric loss and embedded silver electrodes. During the past 15 years, a large number of new dielectric LTCCs for high frequency applications have been developed. About 1000 papers were published and ∼500 patents were filed in the area of LTCC and related technologies. However, the data of these several very useful materials are scattered. The main purpose of this review is to bring the data and science of these materials together, which will be of immense help to researchers and technologists all over the world. The commercially available LTCCs, low loss glass phases and researched novel materials are listed with properties and references. Additionally, their high frequency and thermal performances are compared with the other substrate material options such as high sintering temperature ceramics and polymers, and further improvements in materials' development required are discussed.
The demand for light-weighting in transport and consumer electronics has seen rapid growth in the commercial usage of magnesium (Mg). The major use of Mg is now in cast Mg products, as opposed to the use of Mg as an alloying element in other alloy systems and there is an emerging market of wrought Mg products and biomedical Mg components - such that the past two decades have seen a significant number of new Mg-alloys reported. None-the-less, the corrosion of Mg alloys continues to be a challenge facing engineers seeking weight reductions by deployment of Mg. Herein, authors review the influence of alloying on the corrosion of Mg-alloys, with particular emphasis on the underlying electrochemical kinetics that dictate the ultimate corrosion rate. Such a review focusing on the chemistry-corrosion link, both in depth and in a holistic approach, is lacking. As such the authors do not describe aspects such as high-temperature oxidation or cracking, but focus on delivering the state-of-the-art with regards to alloying influences on corrosion kinetics. It has been demonstrated that Mg itself will not be thermodynamically passive in environments of pH<11, regardless of the extent and type of alloying and hence corrosion kinetics require unique attention. Authors consolidate the presentation to include essentially all commercially available alloys and in excess of 350 custom alloys with wide variations in composition; in addition to reviewing the range of intermetallic compounds and impurities that form in such alloys systems. An update is also given regarding mechanistic advances and the role of grain size on corrosion of Mg. A wider understanding of the role of chemical effects upon corrosion of Mg is both timely and serves to highlight metallurgical approaches towards kinetically retarding the corrosion problem. The latter is of key relevance to next generation lightweight alloys and rational design of wrought Mg and bio-Mg.