Influence of Powder Characteristics on Processability of AlSi12 Alloy Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMaterials. 2018, 11 1-14. 10.3390/ma11050742
Selective laser melting (SLM) is one of the additive manufacturing technologies that allows for the production of parts with complex shapes from either powder feedstock or from wires. Aluminum alloys have a great potential for use in SLM especially in automotive and aerospace fields. This paper studies the influence of starting powder characteristics on the processability of SLM fabricated AlSi12 alloy. Three different batches of gas atomized powders from different manufacturers were processed by SLM. The powders differ in particle size and its distribution, morphology and chemical composition. Cubic specimens (10 mm × 10 mm × 10 mm) were fabricated by SLM from the three different powder batches using optimized process parameters. The fabrication conditions were kept similar for the three powder batches. The influence of powder characteristics on porosity and microstructure of the obtained specimens were studied in detail. The SLM samples produced from the three different powder batches do not show any significant variations in their structural aspects. However, the microstructural aspects differ and the amount of porosity in these three specimens vary significantly. It shows that both the flowability of the powder and the apparent density have an influential role on the processability of AlSi12 SLM samples.