Selective laser melting (SLM) process is an additive manufacturing method that uses computer-aided design to fabricate complex components layer-by-layer. Surface roughness is one of the primary drawbacks of SLM process; hence, the purpose of this paper is to present a parametric study and optimisation of fundamental parameters, including scan power, speed, inclined angle and layer thickness on surface roughness during selective laser melting of Hastelloy X.
Parametric significance on surface finish was analysed using analysis of variance and response surface methodology. General agreement between predicted and measured values was achieved. Surface characteristics of both up-skin and down-skin with various angles were covered within the investigated range.
Both experimental and statistical analysis showed that surface roughness of up-skin was primarily influenced by scan power, inclined angle and layer thickness while down-skin was more affected by the former two factors. Melt pool shape and staircase size were found to determine the up-skin surface, whereas attached particles were responsible for down-skin surface roughness.
As per our understanding, this manuscript provides valuable insight into the surface quality problem of SLM, which is a very critical issue for up-grading the process for manufacturing real components. This manuscript helps promote improved knowledge and understanding of the attributes and capabilities of this rapidly evolving 3D printing technology. Moreover, it establishes usable processing window and helps obtain optimal conditions, thus offering useful information to professionals working in this field. By combining experiments with statistical analysis, both practice and theory relevant to SLM process are further developed.
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial assistance from the Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ITRH) and support from Safran. The authors also acknowledge the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy for the use of SEM facilities. The authors also appreciate the help from Dr Tom Jarvis and Mr Bryce Melville for machine and design support.
Tian, Y., Tomus, D., Huang, A. and Wu, X. (2019), "Experimental and statistical analysis on process parameters and surface roughness relationship for selective laser melting of Hastelloy X", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 1309-1318. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-01-2019-0013
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