Manufacturing of high strength and high conductivity copper with laser powder bed fusion

Yingang Liu, Jingqi Zhang, Ranming Niu, Mohamad Bayat, Ying Zhou, Yu Yin, Qiyang Tan, Shiyang Liu, Jesper Henri Hattel, Miaoquan Li, Xiaoxu Huang, Julie Cairney, Yi Sheng Chen, Mark Easton, Christopher Hutchinson, Ming Xing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Additive manufacturing (AM), known as 3D printing, enables rapid fabrication of geometrically complex copper (Cu) components for electrical conduction and heat management applications. However, pure Cu or Cu alloys produced by 3D printing often suffer from either low strength or low conductivity at room and elevated temperatures. Here, we demonstrate a design strategy for 3D printing of high strength, high conductivity Cu by uniformly dispersing a minor portion of lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) nanoparticles in pure Cu through laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). We show that trace additions of LaB6 to pure Cu results in an improved L-PBF processability, an enhanced strength, an improved thermal stability, all whilst maintaining a high conductivity. The presented strategy could expand the applicability of 3D printed Cu components to more demanding conditions where high strength, high conductivity and thermal stability are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1283
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2024

Cite this