The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 65-78

First online:

Density of additively-manufactured, 316L SS parts using laser powder-bed fusion at powers up to 400 W

  • Chandrika KamathAffiliated withLawrence Livermore National Laboratory Email author 
  • , Bassem El-dasherAffiliated withLawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • , Gilbert F. GallegosAffiliated withLawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • , Wayne E. KingAffiliated withLawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • , Aaron SistoAffiliated withStanford University

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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.


316L stainless steel Keyhole-mode laser melting Additive manufacturing Powder-bed fusion Selective laser melting Direct metal laser sintering