Influence of the Particle Size Distribution on Surface Quality and Mechanical Properties in Additive Manufactured Stainless Steel Parts

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Spierings, A.B.
Herres, N.
Levy, G.

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University of Texas at Austin


A recent study confirmed that the particle size distribution of a metallic powder material has a major influence on the density of a part produced by SLM. Although it is possible to get high density values with different powder types, the processing parameters have to be adjusted accordingly, affecting the process productivity. However, the particle size distribution does not only affect the density but also the surface quality and the mechanical properties of the parts. Therefore, this study compares three different particle size distributions depending on the laser scan velocity and two layer thicknesses of 30μm and 45μm. By using an optimized powder material a low surface roughness can be obtained. A subsequent blasting process can further improve the surface roughness for all powder materials used in this study although this does not change the ranking of the powders with respect to the resulting surface quality.


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