Glass-to-metal seals are important in hermetic electrical feedthroughs for high-temperature and high-pressure applications. Traditionally, glass-to-metal seals are created using a high temperature furnace with controlled pressure and atmosphere. Current manufacturing techniques for glass-to-metal seals require precise fixturing (limiting unitization) and face restrictions in terms of the coefficient of thermal expansion for the glass/metal system. This paper explores the potential to use a laser to locally heat the glass as the first step toward the additive manufacturing of glass to metal seals. Studies are conducted fusing both frit and preforms under ambient conditions. The effects of process parameters on the process are quantified. The paper shows the potential of the process using Selective Laser Melting equipment, which can lead to greater flexibility for glass-to-metal seals with respect to geometry, materials, and spatially varying properties.

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