Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) was investigated to fabricate Zirconium Diboride (ZrB2) parts for ultra-high temperature applications. Experiments were conducted to determine values of SLS process parameters (laser power, scan speed, line spacing, and layer thickness) that can be used to build ZrB2 parts with high integrity and sharp geometrical features. A sacrificial plate with a proper number of layers (determined from experimentation) separated from the main part was built in order to reduce thermal gradients when building the main part. The sacrificial plate was found to assist in eliminating cracks in the bottom of the main part. The fabricated green parts then went through post processing steps including binder burnout and sintering at proper temperature schedules, to remove the binder and sinter the ZrB2 particles. The test bars after sintering had an average relative density of 87% and an average flexural strength of 250 MPa.

Meeting Name

21st Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium -- An Additive Manufacturing Conference (2010: Aug. 9-11, Austin, TX)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering


The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support for this work by the Air Force Research Laboratory Contract FA8650-04-c-5704 to the Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies (CAMT) at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Keywords and Phrases

3D printers; Binders; Experiments; High temperature applications; Manufacture; Sintering; Zirconium compounds; Geometrical features; Number of layers; Process parameters; Relative density; Selective laser sintering; Temperature schedules; Ultrahigh temperature; Zirconium diboride; Laser heating

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

11 Aug 2010