THERMAM

Researcher : Eva KRIKONA

Optimisation of the mechanical properties of AlSi10Mg built by Selective Laser Melting.

In the recent years the term “3D printing” is becoming increasingly popular. Alas, this term is not an umbrella term but rather a specific patented process. All the techniques consisting of building something by adding gradually matter (rather than removing from a block in order to shape something) they’re called “Additive Manufacturing” processes. The “Selective Laser Melting” (SLM) is a method where a laser beam scans a bed of metallic powder in order to melt specific regions. Then, the melted metal is cooled and solidified almost instantaneously. Then, another layer of powder is applied and the laser scans again the region of interest. This process is repeated several times and layer by layer a new solid objet is built like layering pancakes one on top of the other.

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SLM allows us to build very complex geometric figures or even downright impossible ones by conventional machining technologies. But the properties of the metal are different from those of a typical casting. In this project, we characterise the material in function of the build direction, post-production machining, scanning strategy and the age of the powder. Furthermore, we study the possibility to apply a heat treatment in the purpose of improving the mechanical properties.

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