Optimization and comparison of porosity rate measurement methods of Selective Laser Melted metallic parts
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
The systematic occurrence of porosities inside selective laser melted (SLM) parts is a well-known phenomenon. In order to improve the density of SLM parts, it is important not only to assess the physical origin of the different types of porosities, but also to be able to measure as precisely as possible the porosity rate so that one may select the optimum manufacturing parameters. Considering 316 L steel parts built with different input energies, the current paper aims to (1) present the different types of porosities generated by SLM and their origins, (2) compare different methods for measuring parts density and (3) propose optimal procedures. After a preliminary optimization step, three methods were used for quantifying porosity rate: the Archimedes method, the helium pycnometry and micrographic observations. The Archimedes method shows that results depend on the nature and temperature of the fluid, but also on the sample volume and its surface roughness. During the micrographic observations, it has been shown that the results depend on the magnification used and the number of micrographs considered. A comparison of the three methods showed that the optimized Archimedes method and the helium pycnometry technique gave similar results, whereas optimized micrographic observations systematically underestimated the porosity rate. In a second step, samples were analyzed to illustrate the physical phenomena involved in the generation of porosities. It was confirmed that: (1) low Volume Energy Density (VED) causes non-spherical porosities due to insufficient fusion, (2) in intermediary VED the small amount of remaining blowhole porosities come from gas occlusion in the melt-pool and (3) in excessive VED, cavities are formed due to the key-hole welding mode.
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