Exploring the mechanical performance and material structures of integrated electrical circuits within solid state metal additive manufacturing matrices

Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) enables the integration of a wide variety of components into solid metal matrices due to a high degree of metal plastic flow at low matrix bulk temperatures. This phenomenon allows the fabrication of previously unobtainable novel engineered metal matrix components. The aim of this paper was to investigate the compatibility of electronic materials with UAM, thus exploring an entirely new realm of multifunctional components by integration of electrical structures within dense metal components processed in the solid-state. Three different dielectric materials were successfully embedded into UAM fabricated metal-matrices with, research derived, optimal processing parameters. The effect of dielectric material hardness on the final metal matrix mechanical strength after UAM processing was investigated systematically via mechanical peel testing and microscopy. The research resulted in a quantification of the role of material hardness on final UAM sample mechanical performance, which is of great interest for future industrial applications.