The effects of powder feedstock and process parameters on the material characteristics of Ti6Al4V thin strut features fabricated by laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing
In this work, three different types of Ti6Al4V powder feedstock of different particle size ranges (fine, medium, and coarse) were utilized to fabricate thin strut lightweight features using laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (L-PBF-AM) using different process parameter settings. Thin strut features of varying dimensions from 0.1mm to 0.5mm were fabricated. The resulting sample sets allow for the analysis of the compound powder feedstock-process- geometry-material (PPG-M) characteristics for lightweight features fabricated by L-PBF-AM, which have not been previously explored. Various material characteristics were experimentally determined and analyzed, including success rate, geometry quality, porosity, pore size, grain size, and mechanical properties of the lightweight thin strut samples. The results clearly demonstrated the significance of the compound PPG-M relationships for lightweight structures, which calls for further studies to “re-establish” the knowledge base for L-PBF-AM materials at small dimension scales.