Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science ( IF 1.386 ) Pub Date : 2019-09-17 , DOI: 10.1177/0954406219875483 Gurminder Singh; Pulak M Pandey
In the present paper, mechanical and thermal properties of rapidly manufactured copper parts were studied. The combination of three-dimensional printing and ultrasonic assisted pressureless sintering was used to fabricate copper parts. First, the ultimate tensile strength and thermal conductivity were compared between ultrasonic assisted and conventional pressureless sintered samples. The homogenously mixing of particles and local heat generation by ultrasonic vibrations promoted the sintering driving process and resulted in better mechanical and thermal properties. Furthermore, response surface methodology was adopted for the comprehensive study of the ultrasonic sintering parameters (sintering temperature, heating rate, and soaking time with ultrasonic vibrations) on ultimate tensile strength and thermal conductivity of the fabricated sample. Analysis of variance was performed to identify the significant factors and interactions. The image processing method was used to identify the surface porosity at different parameter levels to analyse the experimental results. High ultimate tensile strength was obtained at high sintering temperature, long soaking time, and slow heating rate with low surface porosity. After 60 min of soaking time, no significant effect was observed on the thermal conductivity of the fabricated sample. The significant interactions revealed less effect of soaking time at low sintering temperatures for ultimate tensile strength and less effect of heating rate at low sintering temperatures for thermal conductivity. Multi-objective optimization was carried out to identify parameters for maximum ultimate tensile strength and maximum thermal conductivity.