Special Focus on Metal Additive Manufacturing
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This special issue of the Journal of Thermal Spray Technology (JTST) includes selected papers on the emerging field of additive manufacturing (AM). This current issue includes five papers, with an additional two papers that appear in other regular issues. Additive manufacturing refers to the various processes used to make three-dimensional parts by depositing material layer-by-layer from 3D computer-aided design models. This differs drastically from traditional manufacturing methods (TMM) such as subtractive (milling or drilling), formative (casting or forging), and joining (welding or fastening) processes. Additive manufacturing technologies include Vat photopolymerization, material extrusion, material jetting, binder jetting, powder bed fusion, direct energy deposition, and sheet lamination.
Additive manufacturing of plastic parts is considered to be a state-of-the-art process. However, AM of metals and ceramics requires more extensive research and development efforts in order to expand the scope of applications to structural, high-performance functional parts. Early successes of organizations such as General Electric and NASA have confirmed the interest and potential of AM for these materials and are contributing to the slow transition from TMM to AM for specific parts. It is forecast that more than ten years will be required for some level of maturation of AM for the aerospace/automotive sectors, as the process “genomics” is still underway to understand the relationships involved with the use of such a new manufacturing process.
Since many thermal spray processes can and have been used extensively to repair and rebuild metallic parts, there is an obvious overlap in the fields of application between thermal spray and AM, and thermal spray processes can even be seen as AM processes. As such, this special issue aims at connecting these two overlapping “worlds” and may generate cross-pollination that could benefit thermal spray users and developers.
The Guest Editors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the reviewers who provided invaluable input to us and the authors.
University of Ottawa, Canada
McGill University, Canada
Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France
Pennsylvania State University, USA