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Proceedings Paper

Laser post-processing of Inconel 625 made by selective laser melting
Author(s): David Witkin; Henry Helvajian; Lee Steffeney; William Hansen
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Paper Abstract

The effect of laser remelting of surfaces of as-built Selective Laser Melted (SLM) Inconel 625 was evaluated for its potential to improve the surface roughness of SLM parts. Many alloys made by SLM have properties similar to their wrought counterparts, but surface roughness of SLM-made parts is much higher than found in standard machine shop operations. This has implications for mechanical properties of SLM materials, such as a large debit in fatigue properties, and in applications of SLM, where surface roughness can alter fluid flow characteristics. Because complexity and netshape fabrication are fundamental advantages of Additive Manufacturing (AM), post-processing by mechanical means to reduce surface roughness detracts from the potential utility of AM. Use of a laser to improve surface roughness by targeted remelting or annealing offers the possibility of in-situ surface polishing of AM surfaces- the same laser used to melt the powder could be amplitude modulated to smooth the part during the build. The effects of remelting the surfaces of SLM Inconel 625 were demonstrated using a CW fiber laser (IPG: 1064 nm, 2-50 W) that is amplitude modulated with a pulse profile to induce remelting without spallation or ablation. The process achieved uniform depth of melting and improved surface roughness. The results show that with an appropriate pulse profile that meters the heat-load, surface features such as partially sintered powder particles and surface connected porosity can be mitigated via a secondary remelting/annealing event.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2016
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9738, Laser 3D Manufacturing III, 97380W (6 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2213745
Show Author Affiliations
David Witkin, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Henry Helvajian, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Lee Steffeney, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
William Hansen, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9738:
Laser 3D Manufacturing III
Bo Gu; Henry Helvajian; Alberto Piqué, Editor(s)

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