Rapid Manufacturing of Aluminum Components

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Science  29 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5637, pp. 1225-1227
DOI: 10.1126/science.1086989

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A manufacturing technique for the production of aluminum components is described. A resin-bonded part is formed by a rapid prototyping technique and then debound and infiltrated by a second aluminum alloy under a nitrogen atmosphere. During thermal processing, the aluminum reacts with the nitrogen and is partially transformed into a rigid aluminum nitride skeleton, which provides the structural rigidity during infiltration. The simplicity and rapidity of this process in comparison to conventional production routes, combined with the ability to fabricate complicated parts of almost any geometry and with high dimensional precision, provide an additional means to manufacture aluminum components.

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