Throughout industry, companies are continually looking for ways to improve process efficiency and save on operating costs; one possible solution is to recover waste heat using thermoelectric devices. Thermoelectric devices, though mechanically simple, can be difficult to manufacture. Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are beginning to address many of the issues with traditional manufacturing techniques, including the reduction in part count in complex designs and the elimination of many sub assembly requirements. This study looks at the possibility of selective laser melting (SLM) as an alternative manufacturing process to those currently used to produce thermoelectric devices. This study experimentally and theoretically investigates the impact of laser scanning and powder parameters on SLM of bismuth telluride, a standard thermoelectric material. Manufacturing parameters were also examined, including the effects of laser power and scan speed on line width, splattering, micro cracking and vaporization. Line spacing and powder density were examined as well. The identification of these parameter settings represents the first steps in determining if SLM can be used to manufacture thermoelectric devices. It was concluded that semiconducting and thermoelectric materials could be melted using SLM techniques, but due to the low thermal conductivity of semiconducting and thermoelectric materials, very thin layers would be needed in order to be completely melted.
|Commitee:||Bardet, Philippe, Garris, Charles, LeBlanc, Saniya|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 54/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Alternative Energy, Mechanical engineering, Materials science|
|Keywords:||Additive manufacturing, Compact disc, Selective laser melting, Semiconductor, Thermoelectric|
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