A Preliminary Examination of Variability Due to Build Location and Powder Feedstock in Additive Manufacture of Inconel 718 using Laser-Based Powder Bed Fusion

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Saint John, David B.
Joshi, Sanjay B.
Simpson, Timothy W.
Qu, Meng
Rowatt, John David
Lou, Yucun

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University of Texas at Austin


The production of metallic parts by additive manufacturing (AM) is of significant interest to industry, but in the absence of standards, practical design considerations for manufacturing engineers are not widely known. Within the context of powder bed fusion (PBF), many unknowns persist regarding variations in part quality due to part location on the build plate, process consistency, feedstock supplier, and machine manufacturer. In this paper, we investigate the mechanical property variance across the build platform and document the successful use of feedstock powders obtained from several suppliers for the manufacture of Inconel 718 tensile and Charpy specimens, built on an EOS M280 laser-based powder bed fusion system. Particular emphasis is placed on describing the manufacturing process design challenges encountered even for simple geometries. While many advocate that complexity is free when using AM, we find that AM can lead to expensive build failures given the current state of manufacturing process knowledge and that design for additive manufacture is required for successful application of AM techniques.


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