Selective-area laser deposition (SALD) Joining of silicon carbide with silicon carbide filler

Date of Completion

January 1999


Engineering, Electronics and Electrical|Engineering, Materials Science




Selective Area Laser Deposition (SALD) is a gas-phase, solid freeform fabrication (SFF) process that utilizes a laser-driven, pyrolytic gas reaction to form a desired solid product. This solid product only forms in the heated zone of the laser beam and thus can be selectively deposited by control of the laser position. SALD Joining employs the SALD method to accomplish ‘welding’ of ceramic structures together. The solid reaction product serves as a filler material to bond the two parts. ^ The challenges involved with ceramic joining center around the lack of a liquid phase, little plastic deformation and diffusivity and poor surface wetting for many ceramic materials. Due to these properties, traditional metal welding procedures cannot be applied to ceramics. Most alternative ceramic welding techniques use some form of a metal addition to overcome these material limitations. However, the metal possesses a lower ultimate use temperature than the ceramic substrate and therefore it decreases the temperature range over which the joined part can be safely used. SALD Joining enjoys several advantages over these ceramic welding procedures. The solid filler material chemistry can be tailored to match the type of ceramic substrate and therefore fabricate monolithic joints. The SALD filler material bonds directly to the substrate and the joined structure is made in a one step process, without any post-processing. ^ The research documented in this dissertation focused on SALD Joining of silicon carbide structures with silicon carbide filler material. A historical progression of gas-phase SFF research and a literature review of the most prominent ceramic joining techniques are provided. A variety of SiC substrates were examined, as were various conditions of gas precursor pressures and mixtures, laser beam scan speed and joint configuration. The SALD material was characterized for composition and structure by x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance. Successful joints were measured for mechanical bend strength, hermeticity of the joint seal and microhardness of the filler material. The SALD joints were evaluated based on comparisons to monolithic tube properties. The difficulties associated with SALD Joining are discussed as well. ^