Fabrication and Quality Assessment of Thin Fins Built Using Metal Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing

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Dunbar, Alexander J.
Gunderman, Gabrielle J.
Mader, Morgan C.
Reutzel, Edward W.

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University of Texas at Austin


Powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (PBFAM) is well suited for the fabrication of metallic components with thin features that would be otherwise impractical using other manufacturing methods. As component designs begin to take full advantage of the capabilities of additive manufacturing, so must the capability of measurement techniques used in assessment of quality increase. The characterization of quality may be application specific, requiring different metrics for different uses, e.g. impact on thermal vs. mechanical considerations. Here, thin fins are built with a wide range of processing conditions to test the limits of thin, metallic components using PBFAM. These thin fins are inspected using novel computed tomography (CT) based measurement techniques to assess their build quality. Within the process parameters tested, fins were successfully built thinner than manufacturer-recommended minimum wall thickness using default process parameters. The quality of these fins was assessed utilizing post-build non-destructive evaluation techniques developed herein.


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