The additive manufacturing process Selective Laser Melting (SLM) can generate large thermal gradients during the processing of metallic powder; this can in turn lead to increased residual stress formation within a component. Metal anchors or support structures are required to be built during the process and forcibly hold SLM components to a substrate plate and minimise geometric distortion/warpage due to the process induced thermal residual stress. The requirement for support structures can limit the geometric freedom of the SLM process and increase post-processing operations. A novel method known as Anchorless Selective Laser Melting (ASLM) maintains processed material within a stress relieved state throughout the duration of a build. As a result, metal components formed using ASLM do not develop signification residual stresses within the process, thus, the conventional support structures or anchors used are not required to prevent geometric distortion. ASLM locally melts two or more compositionally distinct powdered materials that alloy under the action of the laser, forming into various combinations of hypo/hyper eutectic alloys with a new reduced solidification temperature. This new alloy is maintained in a semi-solid or stress reduced state for a prolonged period during the build with the assistance of elevated powder bed pre-heating. In this paper, custom blends of alloys are designed, manufactured and processed using ASLM. The purpose of this work is to create an Al339 alloy from compositionally distinct powder blends. The in-situ alloying of this material and ASLM processing conditions allowed components to be built in a stress-relieved state, enabling the manufacture of overhanging and unsupported features.
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