Study of laser‐sinterability of ferro‐based powders

J.P. Kruth (Division PMA, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan, Belgium)
S. Kumar (Division PMA, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan, Belgium)
J. Van Vaerenbergh (Division PMA, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan, Belgium)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

To find the suitable parameters for selective laser sintering (SLS) of selected ferro‐based powders. These parameters will help to create products having appreciable strength shown by the highest density and good surface property.

Design/methodology/approach

Design of experiment (L9 Taguchi design) has been used to obtain the parameters in the minimum possible number of experiments. For finding the range of various parameters selected such as scan speed, scan spacing and layer thickness, some preliminary experiments have been performed. In order to carry out varied characterization for a given type of experiment, a number of samples have been made.

Findings

An attempt has been made to observe the correlation between applied laser energy and the properties of the laser‐sintered parts. Taguchi design has been useful and has given the optimized parameters. It has also been found that the infiltration increases the strength of the part substantially compared with the property of end‐used sintered product.

Research limitations/implications

The present set of experiments was limited by the range of supplied laser energy to the powder system, as the laser power could not be increased.

Originality/value

There is a need to search for alternative powders for manufacturing parts through SLS, which can alleviate the need to depend on customized powders, as these customized powders are limited to be used only with prescribed commercial SLS machines for their best performance. This drawback restricts their general use independent of any particular machine and it is, therefore, required to develop know‐how of powders and related process parameters for SLS. The present work is an effort in this direction in which laser sintering of a specially developed iron‐based powder mixture (Fe, Ni, Cu and Fe3P) has been tested on an SLS machine.

Keywords

Citation

Kruth, J., Kumar, S. and Van Vaerenbergh, J. (2005), "Study of laser‐sinterability of ferro‐based powders", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 287-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552540510623594

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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