Novel Selective Laser Printing Via Powder Bed Fusion of Ionic Liquid Harvested Iron for Martian Additive Manufacturing
Stewart, B. C., Doude, H., Mujahid, S., Fox, E. T., Edmunson, J. E., Abney, M. B., & Rhee, H. (2022). Novel Selective Laser Printing Via Powder Bed Fusion of Ionic Liquid Harvested Iron for Martian Additive Manufacturing. Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance. Space and Aerospace Exploration Revolution, 9. DOI:10.1007/s11665-022-06730-7.
As the race to colonize Mars continues, the need for energy efficient, low waste manufacturing techniques remains as a major hurdle. Launching building materials from Earth is not feasible logistically or financially; therefore, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) methods are required to ensure the success and longevity of these Martian colonies. Ionic liquids (ILs) are currently studied at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) as a means to harvest metallic elements from regolith oxides and meteorites. IL technology provides an energy efficient method to extracting critical manufacturing materials, such as iron (Fe), that can be used for structures, plumbing, and tools. In this study, IL-sourced Fe (IL-Fe) was used as feedstock for laser-based powder bed fusion (PBF-LB) to obtain a baseline of material characteristics for additive manufacturing. Samples were then investigated to determine microstructure, hardness, and chemical composition. IL-Fe showed potential as a feedstock for the production of metallic materials via laser-based additive manufacturing techniques.