Rapid Freeze Prototyping of Investment Cast Thin-Wall Metal Matrix Compostites I - Pattern Build and Molding Parameters


Rapid Freeze Prototyping (RFP) is a novel solid freeform fabrication technology that creates parts by depositing water droplets and freezing them rapidly to form layers. An investigation into the smallest thickness that can be achieved by the RFP process was conducted. The factors that could significantly affect the thickness of the part built by this process including substrate temperature, volumetric feed rate, table velocity, nozzle frequency, nozzle standoff distance, and head pressure were considered. A shell building technique for use with the RFP system has been developed. Thin wall ice patterns have been invested using production shell building techniques and an alcohol-based slurry. The finished shells were quantitatively evaluated by inspecting their total shell thickness, mold cavity dimensional reproducibility, and shell strength. Pattern loss is influenced by not only the alcohol/water interaction but also the starting thickness as it relates to thermal mass.

Meeting Name

TMS 2008 Annual Meeting and Exhibition (2008: Mar. 9-13, New Orleans, LA)


Materials Science and Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Alcohols; Composting; Deposition; Droplets; Feed Rate; Freeform Fabrication; Molding Parameters; Nozzles; Prototyping; Reproducibility; Slurries; Tables (Data); Thin Walls

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2008 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

13 Mar 2008

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