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Creating Thin Wall Inconel Structures with Machined Finish Equivalent in as Printed Condition

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Conference Abstract: Producing thin-walled structures from Inconel using laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) is a complex and demanding process, primarily due to the unique properties of Inconel. These superalloys are renowned for their resistance to high temperatures, corrosion, and outstanding mechanical properties. Thin-walled Inconel components are susceptible to challenges such as warping, distortion, and cracking, making it imperative to meticulously fine-tune process parameters and design considerations. Achieving thin-walled structures with a machined surface finish directly from the printing process holds immense significance for applications in aerospace components and heat exchangers.
Our comprehensive study delved into the intricate relationship between laser beam speed, power, and contour order to determine the optimal parameters for thin-walled Inconel structures. Our research successfully yielded wall thicknesses within microns of the desired specifications, all while maintaining a surface finish similar to machining. Additionally, our investigation explored the limits of creating the thinnest fully dense single-wall structure achievable under our specific manufacturing conditions.