Functionally Graded Materials
In modern engineering terminology, functionally graded materials (FGMs) refer to an advanced composite consisting of two or more phases. Thye are materials where the phases present are graded with spatial position within the structure. This chapter provides an overview of FGM and how it can be of benefit when utilized in engineering components. Possible manufacturing routes are discussed, in particular, how the rapid advances in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) have opened up new avenues for the manufacture and application of FGMs. However, simple FGMs, such as the blade mentioned earlier, had been produced long before AM was established as a viable manufacturing route. Despite the multiple advantages offered by FGM, there are still many challenges to be overcome. Principal among these is the determination of the optimum spatial distribution of the phases. The manufacture of FGM will also require a new generation of CAD software which allows heterogeneous material definitions.