Micrographic image analysis, tomography and the Archimedes method are commonly used to analyze the porosity of Selective Laser Melting (SLM)-produced parts and then to estimate the relative density. This article deals with the limitation of the relative density results to conclude on the quality of a part manufactured by additive manufacturing and focuses on the interpretation of the relative density result. To achieve this aim, two experimental methods are used: the image analysis method, which provides local information on the distribution of porosity, and the Archimedes method, which provides access to global information. To investigate this, two different grades of aluminum alloy, AlSi7Mg0.6 and AM205, were used in this study. The study concludes that an analysis of the metallographic images to calculate the relative density of the part depends on the areas chosen for the analysis. In addition, the results show that the Archimedes method has limitations, particularly related to the choice of reference materials for calculating relative density. It can be observed, for example, that, depending on the experimental conditions, the calculation can lead to relative densities higher than 100%, which is inconsistent. This article shows that it is essential that a result of relative density obtained from Archimedes measurements be supplemented by an indication of the reference density used.
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