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.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Gideon, L. , 2010, “The Role and Future of the Laser. Technology in Additive Manufacturing Environment,” Phys. Procedia, 5, pp. 65–80. [CrossRef]
Körner, C. , 2016, “Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Components by Selective Electron Beam Melting—A Review,” Int. Mater. Rev., 61(5), pp. 361–377. [CrossRef]
Roy, N. , Dibua, O. , Foong, C. S. , and Cullinan, M. , 2017, “Preliminary Results on the Fabrication of Interconnect Structures Using Microscale Selective Laser Sintering,” ASME Paper No. IPACK2017-74173.
Rahim, K. , and Mian, A. , 2017, “A Review on Laser Processing in Electronic and MEMS Packaging,” ASME J. Electron. Packag., 139(3), p. 030801. [CrossRef]
O'Donnell, J. , Kim, M. , and Yoon, H.-S. , 2016, “A Review on Electromechanical Devices Fabricated by Additive Manufacturing,” ASME J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 139(1), p. 010801. [CrossRef]
Ramirez, D. A. , Murr, L. E. , Li, S. J. , Tian, Y. X. , Martinez, E. , Martinez, J. L. , Machado, B. I. , Gaytan, S. M. , Medina, F. , and Wicker, R. B. , 2011, “Open-Cellular Copper Structures Fabricated by Additive Manufacturing Using Electron Beam Melting,” Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 528(16–17), pp. 5379–5386. [CrossRef]
Ramirez, D. A. , Murr, E. , Martinez, E. , Hernandez, D. H. , Martinez, J. L. , Machado, B. I. , Medina, F. , Frigola, P. , and Wicker, R. B. , 2011, “Novel Precipitate–Microstructural Architecture Developed in the Fabrication of Solid Copper Components by Additive Manufacturing Using Electron Beam Melting,” Acta Mater., 59(10), pp. 4088–4099. [CrossRef]
Frigola, P. , 2008, “A Novel Fabrication Technique for the Production of RF Photoinjectors,” European Particle Accelerator Conference (EPAC08), Genoa, Italy, June 23–27, Paper No. MOPP086. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/JB_Rosenzweig/publication/237544603_A_NOVEL_FABRICATION_TECHNIQUE_FOR_THE_PRODUCTION_OF_RF_PHOTOINJECTORS/links/0f3175313d333e61ba000000/A-NOVEL-FABRICATION-TECHNIQUE-FOR-THE-PRODUCTION-OF-RF-PHOTOINJECTORS.pdf
Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics, 2018, “Samples Obtained From Dr. T. J. Horn ,” Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics, Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.
CDA, 2018, “Select Copper Material: Composition, Purity and Alloying Elements,” Copper Development Association Inc., accessed Apr. 30, 2018, http://www.copper.org/environment/sustainable-energy/electric-motors/education/motor-rotor/production/proc02/process_02_21.html
She, Y. , Klecka, M. A. , El-Wardany, T. I. , Espinal, A. , Schmidt, W. R. , and Dardona, S. , 2013, “Particulates for Additive Manufacturing Techniques,” Delavan Inc., Bamberg, SC, U.S. Patent No. 20170044354. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170044354
Saprykin, A. A. , Saprykina, N. A. , and Arkhipova, D. A. , 2016, “The Effect of Layer-by-Layer Laser Sintering on the Quality of Copper Powder Sintered Surface Layer,” 11th International Forum on Strategic Technology (IFOST), Novosibirsk, Russia, June 1–3, pp. 244–246.
Becker, D. , and Wissenbach, K. , 2009, “Additive Manufacturing of Copper Components With Selective Laser Melting,” Fraunhofer ILT Annual Report, Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Chaudhary, A. , 2010, Metals Process Simulation (ASM Handbook), Vol. 22B, ASM International, Materials Park, OH, pp. 240–252.
Dassault Systèmes, 2014, “ABAQUS User's Manual V.6.14,” Dassault Systèmes, Johnston, RI.
Sciammarella, F. M. , Gonser, M. , and Styrcula, M. , 2014, “Laser Additive Manufacturing of Copper,” SME Rapid Conference on Additive Manufacturing, Detriot, MI, June 10–12.
Lykov, P. A. , Safonov, E. V. , and Akhmedianov, A. M. , 2016, “Selective Laser Melting of Copper,” Mater. Sci. Forum, 843, pp. 284–288. [CrossRef]
Glardon, R. , Karapatis, N. , Romano, V. , and Levy, G. N. , 2001, “Influence of Nd:YAG Parameters on the Selective Laser Sintering of Metallic Powders,” CIRP Ann., 50(1), pp. 133–136. [CrossRef]
Zhang, D. Q. , Liu, Z. H. , and Chua, C. K. , 2013, “Investigation on Forming Process of Copper Alloys Via Selective Laser Melting,” Sixth International Conference on Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping, Leiria, Portugal, Oct. 1–5, pp. 285–289.
Tolochko, N. K. , Khlopkov, Y. V. , Mozzharov, S. E. , Ignatiev, M. B. , and Laoui, T. , 2000, “Absorptance of Powder Materials Suitable for Laser Sintering,” Rapid Prototyping J., 6(3), pp. 155–161. [CrossRef]
Becker, D. , Meiners, W. , and Wissenbach, K. , 2009, “Additive Manufacturing of Copper Alloy by Selective Laser Melting,” Fifth International WLT-Conference Lasers in Manufacturing (LIM), Munich, Germany, June 15–18, pp. 195–199.
CDA, 2018, “Characteristics and Properties of Copper and Copper Alloy P/M Materials,” Copper Development Association Inc., accessed Apr. 30, 2018, http://www.copper.org/resources/properties/129_6/characteristics_properties.html


Grahic Jump Location
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]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Simulation of additive manufacturing processes setup [14]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Four points probe conductivity measurement

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Simulation process flow [14]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Temperature distributions during copper deposition

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Residual stress distributions after copper deposition

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Temperature distributions for various process methods

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Model predicts insufficient laser power for the diffusion for untreated powder

Grahic Jump Location
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).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

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

Grahic Jump Location
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).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Melt pool model results

Grahic Jump Location
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].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 20

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 21

Transverse metallographic cross sections for CuonCu DOE

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 22

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 23

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



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In