Using gas flow to reduce laser plume attenuation is critical in the process control of laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) of metal powders. First, this work investigated Hastelloy X (HX) samples built at different gas flow speeds. Higher porosity with lack of fusion defects was found in the samples built at lower gas flow speeds, which indicates a significant influence of laser plume attenuation. Then, particle pickup experiments were conducted to investigate the limit of further increasing the gas flow speed without disturbing the powder bed. Eight different powders of four alloys (Al, Ti, steel, and Ni) with mean sizes ranging from 25 µm to 118 µm were studied. A model was introduced to predict the pickup speeds of different powders. Lastly, a method based on porosity and particle pickup speed was proposed for the reference of setting the lower and upper limits of gas flow speed in LPBF.
Aijun Huang (Manager)Office of the Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)
Peter Miller (Manager)Office of the Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)