Effect of Build Angle on Surface Properties of Nickel Superalloys Processed by Selective Laser Melting
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Aerospace, automotive, and medical industries use selective laser melting (SLM) to produce complex parts through solidifying successive layers of powder. This additive manufacturing technique has many advantages, but one of the biggest challenges facing this process is the resulting surface quality of the as-built parts. The purpose of this research was to study the surface properties of Inconel 718 alloys fabricated by SLM. The effect of build angle on the surface properties of as-built parts was investigated. Two sets of sample geometries including cube and rectangular artifacts were considered in the study. It was found that, for angles between 15° and 75°, theoretical calculations based on the “stair-step” effect were consistent with the experimental results. Downskin surfaces showed higher average roughness values compared to the upskin surfaces. No significant difference was found between the average roughness values measured from cube and rectangular test artifacts.
The authors would like to thank Dr. John Lee for his assistance with the optical surface analysis and Dr. Maricela Maldonado for her assistance with SEM.
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