Additive manufacturing is rapidly developing towards full spatial control of material deposition. This allows production of multi-material parts with designed phase geometries well beyond homogeneous composites. Tailored internal structuring of this kind can reflect the design loads of the respective component by integrating local reinforcements optimally aligned to the internal distribution of forces. The binder jetting process is an AM technique which, though based on a powder bed, allows local modification of material properties via the binder phase.
The present study builds on previous FEM-based evaluation of the potential of the modification approach which relied on estimations of the achievable degree of property modification. Considering one specific material system, i. e. a 316L stainless steel matrix with zirconium oxide reinforcement, we practically investigate the level of ceramic particles which can be added to the binder without compromising characteristics mandatory to allow its printing, like rheology and stability of the dispersion produced. Furthermore, we compare different, conventionally produced bulk materials consisting of a 316L matrix with zirconium oxide reinforcement added via the binder phase. Sintering characteristics of these materials as well as mechanical properties are discussed in relation to the zirconium oxide content.
The resulting mechanical properties for a realistic material combination and reinforcement level can be utilized to revisit earlier FEM studies aimed at investigating the general potential of such local reinforcements.