AccScience Publishing / MSAM / Volume 2 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.36922/msam.1781
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE

Maraging steel powder alteration caused by laser powder bed fusion printing process

Othmane Rayan1* Jean Brousseau1 Claude Belzile2 Abderrazak El Ouafi1
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1 Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, Quebec, Canada
2 Institut des Sciences de la mer de Rimouski, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, Quebec, Canada
Submitted: 8 September 2023 | Accepted: 23 September 2023 | Published: 29 September 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
Abstract

Metallic additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have recently drawn a lot of interest, notably in the aerospace, automotive, and biomedical fields, as they allow a great degree of design flexibility, perform well mechanically, and reduce material waste. As long as the unfused powder is sieved and recycled for the next print, AM is a green and clean process. However, the recycled powder is prone to several modifications during the course of printing that may affect the mechanical properties of finished components. The study examines the phenomenon of powder degradation caused by laser powder bed fusion printing process and the reuse of the powder. Maraging steel was chosen because there are very few studies on the alteration of this type of powder. The effects of part location, distance between parts and lattice structure on powder characteristics were investigated. Results showed that powder particles were not uniformly distributed over the powder bed, coarsening toward the collecting bin. Nevertheless, the gas filtration system that transports spatters and fumes had no noticeable effect on the powder bed particle-size distribution (PSD). Analyses of the powder spread over the build plate revealed that the PSD shifted toward larger particles with a considerable drop in the percentage of fine particles as the spacing between printed parts was decreased. Printing lattice structures had a substantial impact on the PSD of the powder bed. The size of the particles increased remarkably as the lattice cell became tighter, while the powder morphology showed a huge amount of spatters, aggregates, “clip-clap,” elongated particles, broken particles, shattered, and deformed particles. Taken together, the study showed that the PSD of the powder became coarser and the particle morphology was altered as the number of reuses increased.

Keywords
Additive manufacturing
Laser-powder-bed fusion process
Powder reuse
Powder morphology
Particle-size distribution
Lattice parts
Funding
This research was funded by NSERC (grant no: CDEPJ/507533).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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Materials Science in Additive Manufacturing, Electronic ISSN: 2810-9635 Published by AccScience Publishing