SiAM - Silicon based intermetallics for Additive Manufacturing

There is a need for new materials that can withstand high temperature, aggressive environment and have high wear resistance. Si-based materials, silicides, can be such materials.

Partners: Sintef Materialer og Kjemi, avd Trondheim, Sintef Raufoss Manufacturing AS.
Funding period: 2017 - 2019
Main goal: to develop new Si based materials for mechanical applications with good corrosion and high temperature resistance.

Silicides are materials with high strength and good corrosion resistance for a wide range of temperatures, but are rather difficult to cast and machine. Additive manufacturing, 3D printing, may be a perfect solution for producing components from these materials.

The silicides in mind are for instance Ni-Si, Mo-Si, Ti-Si, Ti-Si-Al and Nb-Si. However, the project will start with selecting the most promising material compositions by using an existing physical/mechanical properties model. Thereafter suitable production processes for the alloys must be developed. Especially important is how to produce a metal powder with the needed particle size distribution to be 3D printed. Test components have to be decided and tested for mechanical properties and corrosion resistance. And finally an industrial scale powder production process must be defined.

The project is divided into 6 work packages:
H1: Selection of silicides for structural applications. Thermodynamical studies as well as studies of mechanical properties and corrosion resistance.

H2: Optimization of the silicides. Optimize composition and powder properties to meet the final properties after printing.

H3: Develop processes for synthesis of silicides. The silicides will be produced in lab.scale as well as in larger scale. Powder production is an important part of this work package.

H4: Manufacturing of samples for mechanical testing. Fabrication of test samples. This may be simple cast structures and/or 3D printed test samples.

H5: Investigation of parameters for additive manufacturing. Set the parameters for printing of silicide powders. Sintef Raufoss is responsible for this work package.

H6: Testing of material properties. Testing of the final properties of printed components with regards to mechanical properties as well as corrosion resistance and high temperature resistance.

Elkem AS Technology is the project owner and project manager. Sintef and Sintef Raufoss are research partners. Elkem Silicon Materials and Elkem Foundry Products will be industry partners in the project.

The project 269598 SiAM is an IPN project financed by the BiA (Brukerstyrt Innovasjonsarena) program by The Research Council of Norway.