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How It All Started: From Doctoral Dilemma to Ultrasonic Atomization of Novel Materials for Additive Manufacturing

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Conference Abstract: This narrative traces a transformative journey that commenced with the doctoral exploration of innovative materials and advanced manufacturing processes, culminating in the development of novel technologies for additive manufacturing (AM).

The first aspect focuses on bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), renowned for their exceptional mechanical and chemical properties. However, their industrial use has encountered inherent limitations, mainly related to glass formability (GFA) and processing complexity. The turning point came with the evolution of laser-based AM technology. The rapid heating and cooling rates associated with this technique preserved the nonequilibrium nature of BMGs. The remaining challenge to mitigate porosity and crystallinity during AM was eventually addressed through innovative AM scanning strategies and postprocessing techniques, enabling the development of engineered amorphous-crystalline composites. Further enhancements came via hot isostatic pressing (HIP), effectively eliminating residual porosity without inducing visible crystallization in amorphous materials.

The second aspect of this journey introduces the transformative impact of ultrasonic atomization technology on the AM landscape. It addresses a persistent challenge—the limited accessibility to diverse alloy powders and the stringent validation requirements for reliable and reproducible materials. Conventional powder production methods posed limitations, including high costs, material compatibility issues, broad particle size distributions, and substantial input prerequisites. Ultrasonic atomization technology empowered laboratories with cost-effective, in-house production capabilities for metallic powders tailored to precise chemical compositions. The versatility of material selection encompasses low-melting-point alloys like MgLi, conventional alloys including Cu, Fe, Ni-based compositions, and High Entropy Alloys including refractory materials.

These two seemingly separate narratives come together to create a coherent story. These represent key transformational milestones – revealing BMG's hidden potential for additive manufacturing and breakthrough ultrasonic atomization technology that facilitates custom alloy fabrication. Together, they are redefining the possibilities and applications of additive manufacturing.