On Optimization of Surface Roughness of Selective Laser Melted Stainless Steel Parts: A Statistical Study
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In this work, the effects of re-melting parameters for postprocessing the surface texture of Additively Manufactured parts using a statistical approach are investigated. This paper focuses on improving the final surface texture of stainless steel (316L) parts, built using a Renishaw SLM 125 machine. This machine employs a fiber laser to fuse fine powder on a layer-by-layer basis to generate three-dimensional parts. The samples were produced using varying angles of inclination in order to generate range of surface roughness between 8 and 20 µm. Laser re-melting (LR) as post-processing was performed in order to investigate surface roughness through optimization of parameters. The re-melting process was carried out using a custom-made hybrid laser re-cladding machine, which uses a 200 W fiber laser. Optimized processing parameters were based on statistical analysis within a Design of Experiment framework, from which a model was then constructed. The results indicate that the best obtainable final surface roughness is about 1.4 µm ± 10%. This figure was obtained when laser power of about 180 W was used, to give energy density between 2200 and 2700 J/cm2 for the re-melting process. Overall, the obtained results indicate LR as a post-build process has the capacity to improve surface finishing of SLM components up to 80%, compared with the initial manufactured surface.
Keywordsre-melting selective laser melting surface roughness
The authors acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.
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