Selective laser melting (SLM) is a potential additive manufacturing (AM) technology. However, the application of SLM was confined due to low efficiency. To improve efficiency, SLM fabrication with a high layer thickness and fine powder was systematically researched, and the void areas and hollow powders can be reduced by using fine powder. Single-track experiments were used to narrow down process parameter windows. Multi-layer fabrication relative density can be reached 99.99% at the exposure time-point distance-hatch space of 120 μs-40 μm-240 μm. Also, the building rate can be up to 12 mm3
/s, which is about 3–10 times higher than the previous studies. Three typical defects were found by studying deeply, including the un-melted defect between the molten pools, the micro-pore defect within the molten pool, and the irregular distribution of the splashing phenomenon. Moreover, the microstructure is mostly equiaxed crystals and a small amount of columnar crystals. The averages of ultimate tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation are 625 MPa, 525 MPa, and 39.9%, respectively. As exposure time increased from 80 μs to 200 μs, the grain size is gradually grown up from 0.98 μm to 2.23 μm, the grain aspect ratio is close to 1, and the tensile properties are shown as a downward trend. The tensile properties of high layer thickness fabricated are not significantly different than those with a coarse-powder layer thickness of low in previous research.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited