Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) has indisputable advantages when designing new components with complex geometries due to toolless manufacturing and the ability to manufacture components with undercuts. However, fatigue properties rely heavily on the surface condition. In this work, in-process surface parameters (three differing contour parameter sets) and post-process surface treatments, namely turning and shot peening, are varied to investigate the influence of each treatment on the resulting fatigue properties of LPBF-manufactured specimens of the aluminium–magnesium–scandium alloy Scalmalloy®
. Therefore, metallographic analysis and surface roughness measurements, as well as residual stress measurements, computer tomography measurements, SEM-analyses, tensile and fatigue tests, along with fracture surface analysis, were performed. Despite the fact that newly developed in-process contour parameters are able to reduce the surface roughness significantly, only a minor improvement in fatigue properties could be observed: Crack initiation is caused by sharp, microscopic notches at the surface in combination with high tensile residual stresses at the surface, which are present on all in-process contour parameter specimens. Specimens using contour parameters with high line energy show keyhole pores localized in the subsurface area, which have no effect on crack initiation. Contours with low line energy have a slightly positive effect on fatigue strength because less pores can be found at the surface and subsurface area, which even more greatly promotes an early crack initiation. The post-process parameter sets, turning and shot peening, both improve fatigue behaviour significantly: Turned specimens show lowest surface roughness, while, for shot peened specimens, the tensile residual stresses of the surface radially shifted from the surface towards the centre of the specimens, which counteracts the crack initiation at the surface.
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