Influence of Powder Particle Size Distribution on the Printability of Pure Copper for Selective Laser Melting

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Sinico, M.
Cogo, G.
Benettoni, M.
Calliari, I.
Pepato, A.

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University of Texas at Austin


This work investigates the use of fine Cu powder, with ~ 20 vol% smaller than 15 μm size, for the selective laser melting process. Cubes reaching > 98 % density are produced at relative low laser output (175 W) and characterized. After the selection of a proper combination of laser scan parameters, the properties of fabricated parts are briefly studied through profilometry and tensile tests. Finally, a voluminous demo component for high-energy physics is manufactured to stress-test the employed SLM machine. Even though unmolten particles and lack of fusion defects are still present in the produced specimens, the investigated approach confirms that powder selection can have a huge influence on the processability of materials with high reflectivity towards near-infrared irradiation.


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