Localized Changes of Stainless Steel Powder Characteristics During Selective Laser Melting Additive Manufacturing
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In laser powder bed additive manufacturing processes, feedstock materials are often recycled after each build. Currently, a knowledge gap exists regarding powder reuse effects on powder size distribution, morphology, and chemistry as a function of part geometry and processing conditions. It was found during selective laser melting (SLM) of 316 stainless steel that a significant amount of (0.100 wt pct) oxygen pickup can occur in molten material (spatter) ejected from the powder bed surface. This value was significantly larger than the oxygen content of the as-received powder feedstock (0.033 wt pct). Furthermore, the powders in the heat-affected-zone regions, adjacent to molten pool, also exhibit oxygen pickup (≥ 0.043 wt pct). The oxygen content in unmelted 316L powder was found to vary as a function of its spatial position in the powder bed, relative to the heat source. Interestingly, the volume of melted material (i.e., thin vs thick walls) did not correlate well with the extent of oxygen pickup. Possible mechanisms for oxygen pickup in the powder during SLM, such as adsorption and breakdown of water, oxygen solubility, spatter re-introduction, and solid-state oxide growth, are discussed.
This work of authorship and those incorporated herein were prepared by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) as accounts of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government under Contract DE-NA0001942. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor CNS, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility to any nongovernmental recipient hereof for the accuracy, completeness, use made, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency or contractor thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency or contractor (other than the authors) thereof. Research was sponsored the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with UT-Battelle, LLC. This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for the United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).
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