In-Built Customised Mechanical Failure of 316L Components Fabricated Using Selective Laser Melting
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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The layer-by-layer building methodology used within the powder bed process of Selective Laser Melting facilitates control over the degree of melting achieved at every layer. This control can be used to manipulate levels of porosity within each layer, effecting resultant mechanical properties. If
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The layer-by-layer building methodology used within the powder bed process of Selective Laser Melting facilitates control over the degree of melting achieved at every layer. This control can be used to manipulate levels of porosity within each layer, effecting resultant mechanical properties. If specifically controlled, it has the potential to enable customisation of mechanical properties or design of in-built locations of mechanical fracture through strategic void placement across a component, enabling accurate location specific predictions of mechanical failure for fail-safe applications. This investigation examined the process parameter effects on porosity formation and mechanical properties of 316L samples whilst maintaining a constant laser energy density without manipulation of sample geometry. In order to understand the effects of customisation on mechanical properties, samples were manufactured with in-built porosity of up to 3% spanning across ~1.7% of a samples’ cross-section using a specially developed set of “hybrid” processing parameters. Through strategic placement of porous sections within samples, exact fracture location could be predicted. When mechanically loaded, these customised samples exhibited only ~2% reduction in yield strength compared to samples processed using single set parameters. As expected, microscopic analysis revealed that mechanical performance was closely tied to porosity variations in samples, with little or no variation in microstructure observed through parameter variation. The results indicate that there is potential to use SLM for customising mechanical performance over the cross-section of a component.