In the last 5 years there has seen a transition in the use of Additive Manufacturing techniques from prototyping to series production. There remain many technical challenges that need to be overcome if the technology is to be adopted across a wider range of markets, one of which is improved part-to-part consistency. It is believed that a factor that can influence the consistency of the laser-based powder bed fusion process is ageing of the metal powder used to manufacture parts. Whilst commercial powder producers can exercise tight control over the ‘as received’ powder, changes that can subsequently occur following exposure to repeated process cycles in the powder bed fusion machine warrant separate investigation.
In this talk, we build on previous studies, covering the behavior of stainless steel, reported at previous RAPID events and examine the changes that occur to the characteristics of gas atomized AlSi10Mg Aluminum alloy powder over approximately 30 consecutive build cycles in the powder bed fusion process. We also relate these changes in powder characteristics to the build quality and of the processed parts
- Define the usable lifetime of Al alloy powders used in laser based powder bed fusion
- Understand the ageing characteristics of Al alloy powders used in the powder bed fusion process