EVALUATION OF SINGLE TRACKS OF 17-4PH STEEL MANUFACTURED AT DIFFERENT POWER DENSITIES AND SCANNING SPEEDS BY SELECTIVE LASER MELTING

N W Makoana, H Moller, H Burger, M Tlotleng, I Yadroitsev

Abstract


In Selective Laser Melting, the initial units produced are single tracks that overlap to create a single layer; from the sequence of layers, a 3D object is manufactured. The properties of the parts produced by SLM depend heavily on the properties of each single track and each layer formed by these tracks. This study evaluates the effect of processing parameters on the geometrical characteristics of single tracks manufactured from 17-4PH stainless steel powder. A single-mode continuous-wave ytterbium fibre laser was used to manufacture single tracks at laser powers in the range of 100-300 W with a constant spot size of ∼80μm. The single tracks produced were subjected to standard metallographic preparation techniques for further analysis with an optical microscope. Deep molten pool shapes were observed at low scan speeds, while shallow molten pool shapes were observed at high scan speeds. At higher laser power densities, under-cutting and humping effects were also observed. The dimensions of single tracks processed without powder generally decrease with increasing scan speed at constant laser power. However, the geometrical features of the single tracks processed with powder revealed pronounced irregularities believed to be caused by non-homogeneity in the deposited powder layer. 


Keywords


Additive Manufacturing, Selective Laser Melting, 17-4PH, Single tracks.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7166/27-3-1668

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Copyright (c) 2016 N W Makoana, H Moller, H Burger, M Tlotleng, I Yadroitsev


ISSN 2224-7890 (on-line) ; ISSN 1012-277X (print)


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