Letting Corrosion Work for You: Novel Pathways to Additive Manufacturing and Nanomaterial Synthesis Using Electrochemically-Driven Powder Consolidation


  • The authors would like to give special thanks to Dr. Sarath Menon (Naval Postgraduate School) for his technical assistance with SEM and XRD analysis. This work was supported by the Research Initiative Program (RIP) of the Naval Postgraduate School.
  • Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


The development of new material synthesis and manufacturing technologies may be one of the most important areas of research in the 21st century. In this study, we introduce the concept of a novel additive manufacturing technology, referred to as electrochemically-driven powder consolidation (EDPC), which utilizes naturally occurring electrochemical potentials to consolidate metal and non-metal powders to rigid bodies and complex shapes. In contrast to existing manufacturing techniques, the proposed technology does not require additional energy input in the form of pressure, heat, and/or laser power, opening new pathways for the development of a more energy-efficient, low-cost additive manufacturing technology. Using the example of lead, we outline the concept of EDPC and propose a five-stage model that describes the physical and chemical processes that govern the observed consolidation. A series of consolidation experiments with other elements (e.g. Sn, Zn, Cu) was conducted to identify the rate-controlling mechanisms and determine crucial process parameters of a potential EDPC manufacturing technology. Finally, the EDPC process was found to also hold great promise for the bulk synthesis of a variety of new materials, including nanoparticles, pellets, metal foams, and advanced composites.