Progress in Additive Manufacturing

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 431–442 | Cite as

The validation of the microstructural evolution of selective laser-melted AlSi10Mg on the in-house built machine: energy density studies

  • Ntombizodwa R. MatheEmail author
  • Lerato C. Tshabalala
Full Research Article


The additive manufacturing of aluminium alloys has become an area of interest for the aerospace industry due to the high strength-to-weight ratios of the produced components. AlSi10Mg has been explored as an alloy of choice for building aircraft parts such as heat exchangers with internal cooling channels, etc. In this study, metal powders of AlSi10Mg containing spherical particles with good flow ability for selective laser melting were used. Various process parameters were investigated on the in-house selective laser melting system or 3D printer to demonstrate the effect of high energy densities on the microstructure and hardness properties for increasing the consolidation rate. The single track analysis showed that the higher energy densities resulted in deeper penetration depth with wider track widths. The microstructures obtained from built cubes revealed built patterns representative of the laser scans after solidification of the molten powder. X-ray diffraction data analysis presented a substantial shift in the 2θ peak positions at the lowest energy density, indicating possible lattice expansion, known and non-indexed phases, and inherent strains in the material induced during the building process. The electron back-scattered diffraction results also showed a refined grain structures at lower energy densities with the presence of Al, Si, and Mg2Si, and no-indexed phases which could represent possible new phase orientations. The hardness measurements obtained in this study were higher than the conventional procedures due to grain refinement experienced during the fast heating and cooling gradients of this process.


Additive manufacturing AlSi10Mg Energy density Selective laser melting 



The financial support by the Department of Science and Technology (DST, South Africa), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, South Africa), and National Research Foundation Grant #: 114675 is gratefully acknowledged. The authors would also like to thank the Aeroswift project, NMISA, CSIR National Centre for Nanostructured Materials, and CSIR MSM Light Metals Laboratory for sample preparation and characterization. The following individuals are also acknowledged for their assistance: Mr. Khoro Malabi, Mr. Danie Louw, and Mr. Rendani Nemagovhani.

Supplementary material

40964_2019_86_MOESM1_ESM.docx (268 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 268 kb)


  1. 1.
    Srivatsan TS, Sudarshan TS (2015) Additive manufacturing: innovations, advances, and applications. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Trevisan F et al (2019) Effects of heat treatment on A357 alloy produced by selective laser melting. In: World PM20162017: Hamburg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brenne F et al (2016) Microstructural design of Ni-base alloys for high-temperature applications: impact of heat treatment on microstructure and mechanical properties after selective laser melting. Progress Additive Manuf 1(3):141–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Criales LE, Özel T (2017) Temperature profile and melt depth in laser powder bed fusion of Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy. Progress Additive Manuf 2(3):169–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dilip JJS et al (2017) Influence of processing parameters on the evolution of melt pool, porosity, and microstructures in Ti-6Al-4V alloy parts fabricated by selective laser melting. Progress Additive Manuf 2(3):157–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Aboulkhair NT et al (2015) On the formation of AlSi10Mg single tracks and layers in selective laser melting: microstructure and nano-mechanical properties. J Mater Process Technol 230:88–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Attar H et al (2014) Selective laser melting of in situ titanium–titanium boride composites: processing, microstructure and mechanical properties. Acta Mater 76:13–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bartkowiak K et al (2011) New developments of laser processing aluminium alloys via additive manufacturing technique. Phys Proc 12:393–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kürnsteiner P et al (2017) Massive nanoprecipitation in an Fe-19Ni-xAl maraging steel triggered by the intrinsic heat treatment during laser metal deposition. Acta Mater 129:52–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Barriobero-Vila P et al (2018) Peritectic titanium alloys for 3D printing. Nat Commun 9(1):3426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brandl E et al (2012) Additive manufactured AlSi10Mg samples using selective laser melting (SLM): microstructure, high cycle fatigue, and fracture behavior. Mater Des 34:159–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pei W et al (2017) The AlSi10Mg samples produced by selective laser melting: single track, densification, microstructure and mechanical behavior. Appl Surface Sci 408:38–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Louvis E, Fox P, Sutcliffe CJ (2011) Selective laser melting of aluminium components. J Mater Process Technol 211(2):275–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Vicario I et al (2015) Development of HPDC Advanced Dies by Casting with Reinforced Tool Steels. Int J Manuf Eng 2015:10Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Read N et al (2015) Selective laser melting of AlSi10Mg alloy: process optimisation and mechanical properties development. Mater Design 65:417–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Prashanth KG et al (2017) Is the energy density a reliable parameter for materials synthesis by selective laser melting? Mater Res Lett 5(6):386–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bourell D et al (2017) Evaluation of energy density measures and validation of powder bed fusion of polyamide. CIRp Ann Manuf Technol 66:217–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gong H, et al (2014) Melt pool characterization for selective laser melting of Ti-6Al-4V pre-alloyed powder. In: 25th Annual international solid freeform fabrication symposium, Austin, TexasGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kempken K et al (2011) Process optimization and microstructural analysis for selective laser melting of AlSi10Mg. In: Solid free from fabrication symposiumGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Olakanmi EO, Cochrane RF, Dalgarno KW (2015) A review on selective laser sintering/melting (SLS/SLM) of aluminium alloy powders: processing, microstructure, and properties. Prog Mater Sci 74:401–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Spierings AB et al (2016) Powder flowability characterisation methodology for powder-bed-based metal additive manufacturing. Progress Additive Manuf 1(1):9–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Markusson L (2017) Powder characterization for additive manufacturing process. Lulea University of Technology, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Tshabalala LC, Mathe NR, Chikwanda H (2017) Characterization of gas atomized Ti-6Al-4V powders for additive manufacturing. In: 4th International conference on titanium powder metallurgy & additive manufacturing, Xi’an, China, Scientific.netGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Li XP, O’Donnell KM, Sercombe T (2016) Selective laser melting of Al-12Si alloy: enhanced densification via powder drying. Additive Manuf 10:10–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Trevisan F et al (2016) Review on the selective laser melting (SLM) of the AlSi10Mg alloy: process, microstructure, and mechanical properties. Materials 10:76–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Alam MK et al (2018) Predictive modeling and the effect of process parameters on the hardness and bead characteristics for laser-cladded stainless steel. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 94(1):397–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mostaf A et al (2017) Structure, texture and phases in 3D printed IN718 alloy subjected to homogenization and HIP treatments. Metals 7(6):196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Thijs L et al (2013) Fine-structured aluminium products with controllable texture by selective laser melting of pre-alloyed AlSi10Mg powder. Acta Mater 61(5):1809–1819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wei P et al (2017) The AlSi10Mg samples produced by selective laser melting: single track, densification, microstructure and mechanical behavior. Appl Surface Sci 408:38–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
    GmbH A (2018) Material data sheet—AlSi10Mg.
  32. 32.
    Aboulkhair NT et al (2014) Reducing porosity in AlSi10Mg parts processed by selective laser melting. Additive Manuf 1–4:77–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nahmany M et al (2015) Electron beam welding of AlSi10Mg workpieces produced by selected laser melting additive manufacturing technology. Additive Manuf 8:63–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Takata N et al (2017) Change in microstructure of selectively laser melted AlSi10Mg alloy with heat treatments. Mater Sci Eng A 704:218–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Li W et al (2016) Effect of heat treatment on AlSi10Mg alloy fabricated by selective laser melting: microstructure evolution, mechanical properties and fracture mechanism. Mater Sci Eng A 663:116–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Yan C et al (2015) Microstructure and mechanical properties of aluminium alloy cellular lattice structures manufactured by direct metal laser sintering. Mater Sci Eng A 628:238–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Liu J (2015) Phase transformations and stress evolution during laser beam welding and post heat treatment of TiAl-alloys, in Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Report 2015. Technischen Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, p 104Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wu J et al (2016) Microstructure and strength of selectively laser melted AlSi10Mg. Acta Mater 117:311–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Chen B et al (2017) Strength and strain hardening of a selective laser melted AlSi10Mg alloy. Scripta Mater 141:45–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Wang HQ, Sun WL, Xing YQ (2013) Microstructure analysis on 6061 aluminum alloy after casting and diffuses annealing process. Phys Proc 50:68–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Shafieizad A et al (2015) The Mg2Si phase evolution during thermomechanical processing of in situ aluminum matrix macro-composite. Mater Sci Eng A 664:310–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Bahl S et al (2017) Elucidating microstructural evolution and strengthening mechanisms in nanocrystalline surface induced by surface mechanical attrition treatment of stainless steel. Acta Mater 122:138–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Tian Y et al (2016) Ductility sensitivity to stacking fault energy and grain size in Cu–Al alloys. Mater Res Lett 4(2):112–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wright SI et al (2015) Introduction and comparison of new EBSD post-processing methodologies. Ultramicroscopy 159(1):81–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Rosenthal I, Stern A, Frage N (2014) Microstructure and mechanical properties of AlSi10Mg parts produced by the laser beam additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Metallogr Microstruct Anal 3(6):448–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Buchbinder D et al (2011) High power selective laser melting (HP SLM) of aluminum parts. Phys Proc 12:271–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laser Enabled Manufacturing Research Group, National Laser CentreCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations