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June 19, 2014 AT 4:00 am

Researchers develop efficient approach to manufacture 3D metal parts #3DPMetal #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers develop efficient approach to manufacture 3D metal parts:
Selective laser melting (SLM)

…LLNL researchers have developed an efficient approach, based on simple simulations and experiments, to identify optimal parameters to print 3D high-density metal parts. Their work, titled “Density of additively-manufactured, 316L SS parts using laser powder-bed fusion at powers up to 400W” was recently published in the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.  

…”We mine the simulation output to identify important SLM parameters and their values such that the resulting melt pools are just deep enough to melt through the powder into the substrate below,” said Chandrika Kamath, an LLNL researcher who is the lead author of the article. “By using the simulations to guide a small number of single-track experiments, we can quickly arrive at parameter values that will likely result in high-density parts.”

Kamath and her colleagues, who are part of LLNL’s Accelerated Certification of Additively Manufactured Metals (ACAMM) Strategic Initiative (acamm.llnl.gov), are using simulations at various scales to gain insight into the SLM process….

Read more. And here are a few more details from the abstract for the journal article:

Selective laser melting is a powder-based, additive-manufacturing process where a three-dimensional part is produced, layer by layer, by using a high-energy laser beam to fuse the metallic powder particles. A particular challenge in this process is the selection of appropriate process parameters that result in parts with desired properties. In this study, we describe an approach to selecting parameters for high-density (>99 %) parts using 316L stainless steel. Though there has been significant success in achieving near-full density for 316L parts, this work has been limited to laser powers < 225 W. We discuss how we can exploit prior knowledge, design of computational experiments using a simple model of laser melting, and single-track experiments to determine the process parameters for use at laser powers up to 400 W. Our results show that, at higher power values, there is a large range of scan speeds over which the relative density remains >99 %, with the density reducing rapidly at high speeds due to insufficient melting, and less rapidly at low speeds due to the effect of voids created as the process enters keyhole mode….

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