The influence of processing parameters on aluminium alloy A357 manufactured by selective laser melting

Heng Rao, Stephanie Giet, Kun Yang, Xinhua Wu, Chris H. J. Davies

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182 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of thiswork is to investigate the effects of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) on the microstructure and mechanical properties of A357 aluminium alloys. The SLM processing parameters were optimised to achieve maximum density, corresponding to an extremely fine microstructure with very few pores. This translates to differences in mechanical properties compared to conventional cast alloy. Porosity in SLMed A357 Al samples was analysed based on relative density versus laser parameter and energy input curves. Substrate temperatures and the combination of laser parameters influence the mechanical properties via changes in melt pool morphology and eutectic Si cell characteristics. The anisotropy of SLMed Al samples is explained in relation to the directionality of the microstructure based on differences in the deformation response of horizontal and vertical tensile samples. Fractographic studies have been performed to understand tensile properties by comparing fracture surfaces of tensile samples with microstructural features in different planes. This has led to an explanation of why the tensile properties are better for the horizontal test samples than for the vertical ones in an as-SLMed material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-346
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials & Design
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Selective Laser Melting
  • Al–Si alloys
  • Microstructure
  • Porosity
  • Mechanical properties

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