Blown Powder Laser Cladding with Novel Processing Parameters for Isotropic Material Properties

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Liu, J.
Fearon, E.
Edwardson, S.P.
Dearden, G.

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University of Texas at Austin


A limitation for blown powder laser additive manufacturing in many applications is the material properties of parts made tend to show anisotropy due to directional solidification of the microstructure. Recent work reported here has identified novel low power processing conditions that yield equiaxed grain structures in 316L stainless steel and thus potentially eliminate material anisotropy. Initial observations show that the process window is affected by build height, substrate choice, powder, powder delivery rates, laser power and processing speed. A system has been developed to give precision layer height control via nozzle design and low powder delivery rates through an in-house design of powder hopper. Mechanical tests have been conducted under the novel processing parameters. Large amounts and uniform distribution of equiaxed structures compared to standard process conditions in 316L are found significantly. Moreover, cladding has been successfully produced with significantly low power around 350W, thus potentially improving process efficiency and set-up cost.


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