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Fabrication of magnesium using selective laser melting technique

Chi Chung Ng (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Monica Savalani (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Hau Chung Man (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 4 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Magnesium has been considered as a new generation of bioactive and biodegradable implant for orthopaedic applications because of its prominent properties including superior biocompatibility, biodegradability and proper mechanical stiffness. For the direct production of custom biomedical implants, selective laser melting (SLM) has been investigated to fabricate pure magnesium and its resultant properties. The primary objective of this paper is to identify the most appropriate mode of irradiation for the melting of pure magnesium powders due to its reactive properties. This study focuses on investigating the interaction between the laser source and the magnesium powders by varying the SLM parameters of the laser power and scan speed under continuous or pulse mode conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Single magnesium tracks were fabricated under different processing conditions using SLM, in order to evaluate the effects of processing parameters on the dimension and surface morphology of the achieved parts. The digital images of the tracks were used to analyze the geometrical features in terms of melting width and depth. In addition, scanning electron images were also studied to understanding the selective melting mechanism.

Findings

Magnesium tracks were successfully fabricated using SLM. Results showed that the dimension, surface morphology and the oxygen pick‐up of the laser‐melted tracks are strongly dependent on the mode of irradiation and processing parameters.

Originality/value

This work is a first step towards magnesium fabrication using SLM technique. The experimental results represent an important step in understanding the magnesium under an Nd:YAG laser irradiation, which provides the basis of behavior for follow‐on research and experiments.

Keywords

Citation

Chung Ng, C., Savalani, M. and Chung Man, H. (2011), "Fabrication of magnesium using selective laser melting technique", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 479-490. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552541111184206

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited