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Lijuan Zhang

National Innovation Institute of Additive Manufacturing

Selective Laser Melting Graphene Reinforced Nickel Matrix Composites

In this work, graphene reinforced Nickel alloy K418 matrix composites (GNPs/K418-MMC) were successfully fabricated by selective laser melting(SLM), with an uniform dispersion of graphene nanoplatelets in the alloy powder through ultrasonic vibration in anhydrous ethanol and dielectric barrier discharge plasma (DBDP)-assisted milling. The influences of phase formation, distribution and interfacial reaction on the microstructure and properties of SLM processed GNPs/K418-MMC samples were studied, and its strengthening and toughening mechanism was revealed by Materials Studionumerical simulation and experiments.

Microstructures and composition of SLM processed GNPs/K418-MMC samples were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy. The results show that some of the graphene interfacially reacted and formed Mo2C and Mo3C2 dispersed in the grain boundaries and the interior of ultrafine-grained γ crystals, while the residual graphene retained in the matrix due to the extremely high cooling rate during SLM. The hardness and mechanical properties at room and elevated temperatures of the GNPs/K418-MMC samples are significantly improved compared with that of the as SLM-ed materials without the addition of graphene.


Lijuan Zhang, Professor, is currently the Deputy Chief Engineer and CTO of the National Innovation Institute of Additive Manufacturing, China. Lijuan obtained her PhD in the Department of Materials, University of Oxford in 2003 and immediately joined the Rolls-Royce UTC in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge as a research fellow. After nearly 5 years at Cambridge she then transferred to TWI as a senior project leader in the Metallurgy, Surfacing and Corrosion Group. From May 2011 to March 2017, Lijuan worked in the School of Engineering, University of Wolverhampton as a senior lecturer. Lijuan’s research interests include materials development, microstructure and mechanical property characterization, welding metallurgy and technology, and additive manufacturing of non-ferritic alloys and their composites. Her duty in the NIIAM is fully in charge of researches in metallic materials related projects application and management. She is willing to collaborate with international partners in AM technology and share her knowledge and experience with peers and colleagues.


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