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Challenges in Three-Dimensional Printing of High-Conductivity Copper

[+] Author and Article Information
Tahany I. El-Wardany

United Technologies Research Center (UTRC),
East Hartford, CT 06108
e-mail: elwardti@utrc.utc.com

Ying She, Vijay N. Jagdale, Jacquelynn K. Garofano, Joe J. Liou, Wayde R. Schmidt

United Technologies Research Center (UTRC),
East Hartford, CT 06108

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received October 9, 2017; final manuscript received April 13, 2018; published online May 9, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Kaushik Mysore.

J. Electron. Packag 140(2), 020907 (May 09, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: EP-17-1104; doi: 10.1115/1.4039974 History: Received October 09, 2017; Revised April 13, 2018

With recent advancements in additive manufacturing (AM) technology, it is possible to deposit copper conductive paths and insulation layers of an electric machine in a selective controlled manner. AM of copper enables higher fill factors that improves the internal thermal conduction in the stator core of the electric machine (induction motor), which will enhance its efficiency and power density. This will reduce the motor size and weight and make it more suitable for aerospace and electric vehicle applications, while reducing/eliminating the rare-earth dependency. The objective of this paper is to present the challenges associated with AM of copper coils having 1 × 1 mm cross section and complex features that are used in producing ultra-high efficiency induction motor for traction applications. The paper also proposes different approaches that were used by the authors in attempts to overcome those challenges. The results of the developed technologies illustrate the important of copper powder treatment to help in flowing the powder easier during deposition. In addition, the treated powder has higher resistance to surface oxidation, which led to a high reduction in porosity formation and improved the quality of the copper deposits. The laser powder direct energy deposition (LPDED) process modeling approach helps in optimizing the powder deposition path, the laser power, and feed rate that allow the production of porosity free thin wall and thin floor components. The laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) models identify the optimum process parameters that are used to produce test specimens with >90% density and minimum porosity.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Electron beam manufacturing deposited wire of 0.5 × 0.5 mm cross section representing on induction motor coil design [9]

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Fig. 2

Laser powder depositions of copper layers with extensive cracking at the interface

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Fig. 3

Laser powder depositions of copper at different process parameters and porosity density

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Fig. 4

Four points probe conductivity measurement

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Fig. 5

Real-time X-ray image of LPDED deposit with uncoated (a) and coated (b) copper powder

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Fig. 6

(a) Photo images of the untreated (A) and treated (B) copper powders taken at the start day of treatment and 9 months later after the treatment and (b) treated copper powder increased flowability and reduced required laser power [11]

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Fig. 7

Simulation of additive manufacturing processes setup [14]

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Fig. 8

Simulation process flow [14]

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Fig. 9

Temperature distributions during copper deposition

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Fig. 10

Residual stress distributions after copper deposition

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Fig. 11

Distortion of substrate and the square copper prisms during deposition (models developed by the authors using a licensed SAMP code)

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Fig. 12

Temperature distributions for various process methods

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Fig. 13

Laser power and maximum temperature as a function of time for various process methods

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Fig. 14

Model predicts insufficient laser power for the diffusion for untreated powder

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Fig. 15

Powder feed rate and absorption coefficient positively affect the temperature rise in deposition

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Fig. 16

As deposited density of some copper alloys (from open literature) as a function of volumetric energy density (left). Cross section of deposited sample showing lack of fusion porosity defect (right).

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Fig. 17

Half model geometry and finite element mesh (top left) utilized for powder bed fusion single track melt pool modeling with some thermal boundary conditions (bottom left). Melt pool results are shown for 3D systems initial process parameters (right).

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Fig. 18

Melt pool model results

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Fig. 19

Round 1: CuonCu substrate deposition samples (left) and CuonSt substrate deposition samples (right)

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Fig. 20

Measured densities of “as deposited” samples as a function of volumetric energy density

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Fig. 21

Transverse metallographic cross sections for CuonCu DOE

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Fig. 22

Longitudinal metallographic cross sections for CuonCu DOE points 9, 2, and 4 (top to bottom)

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Fig. 23

Transverse (left) and longitudinal (right) metallographic cross sections for 6 mm × 6 mm CuonCu DOE point 9

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Fig. 24

Round 1 CuonCu DOE electrical conductivity as a function of density. Influence of dissolved impurity elements on the electrical conductivity of copper at ambient temperature [10].

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