Laser-Based 3D Metal Printing by Direct In-Situ Smelting, Marco Rupp, G1 and Claire Dashe, G1, (3929453)
One fifth of the world’s carbon emission comes from the manufacturing sector and with the ongoing climate crisis, the look for alternative and more green manufacturing processes is on. In our current research project, we focus our attention on laser-based powder bed fusion (PBF) to produce low-carbon steel. Considering the chemistry of smelting in combination with the laser techniques available we are investigating a method to reduce iron ore into viable steel. As this process is executed in a controlled environment, we can capture any carbon emissions. Additionally, our developed process uses less energy since in PBF only the iron oxide in the desired region needs to be reduced. Such a process would avoid the need for large-scale smelting operations which require large energy input and produce extensive waste products, like carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions that are not captured. While our research is still in the proof-of-concept phase, we already obtained promising preliminary results. With this research, we are addressing the main challenges of the manufacturing sector and are excited to offer solutions to contemporary issues.