Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Committee for the Interdisciplinary Program in Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Ken K. Chin

Second Advisor

Roland A. Levy

Third Advisor

Ahmad Safari

Fourth Advisor

Jerry C. LaSalle

Fifth Advisor

Liang Xue


Increasing volume fraction of metal powder in feedstock provided lower shrinkage. Reduction of the shrinkage results in better dimensional precision. The rheology of the feedstock material plays an important role to allowing larger volume fractions of the metal powder to be incorporated in the feedstock forinulations. The viscosity of the feedstock inainly depends on the binder viscosity, powder volume fraction and characteristics of metal powder.

Aqueous polysaccharide agar was used as a baseline binder system for this study.The effect of several gel-strengthening additives on 1.5wt% and 2wt% agar gel was evaluated. A new gel-strengthening additive was found to be the most effective among the others. The effect of other additives such as glucose, sucrose and fructose on viscosity of baseline binder and feedstock was investigated. Two new agar based binder compositions were developed. The use of these new binder forinulations significantly improved the volume fraction of the metal powder, the stability of the feedstock, and reduced the final shrinkage of the molded articles. Two types of 17-4PH stainless steel metal powders, one gas atomized and, the other water atomized, were used for this research.