Effect of bimodal powder blends on part density and melt pool fluctuation in laser powder bed fusion
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The final part density in laser powder bed fusion is influenced by the powder particle size distribution. Too fine powders are not spreadable, and too coarse powders cause porosity. Powder blends, especially bimodal ones, can exhibit higher packing densities and changes in flowability compared to their monomodal constituents. These properties can influence final part density. Therefore, the influence of bimodal powder on final part density was investigated. Two gas atomized 316L (1.4404) powders with a D50 of 20.3 mu m and 60.3 mu m were blended at weight ratios of 3:1, 1:1, and 1:3, and the original and blended powders were processed. The results show that the final part porosity increases almost linearly with an increasing volume fraction of coarse powder. Furthermore, the final part density is independent of powder bulk density and flowability. Measurements of the top surface show that an increase of part porosity by coarse powder is caused by an increase in melt pool fluctuation, which in turn causes irregular solidified scan tracks. Additionally, the results show that the powder segregation during coating is stronger for the bimodal powder; however, no influence of the segregation on the part density could be found. Show more
Journal / seriesProgress in Additive Manufacturing
Pages / Article No.
SubjectLPBF; Powder; Bimodal; Part density; Additive manufacturing; Laser powder bed fusion
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