Karg M, Munk A, Ahuja B, Backer MV, Schmitt JP, Stengel C, Kuryntsev SV, Schmidt M (2018)
Publication Type: Journal article, Original article
Publication year: 2018
Book Volume: 264
Pages Range: 155-171
Current requirements for metal powder in Additive Manufacturing via Laser Beam Melting in powder bed (LBM) that ensure repeatably homogeneous thin layers can be spread and LBM products with high relative density ρrel can be built are high sphericity and particle size distributions (PSD) with limited share of fine particles. The most established LBM powder production method today is delicate and costly inert gas atomization. It yields highly spherical particles with continuous particle size distributions, but two thirds of the atomized powder exceed established LBM size ranges. A novel process route to improve flowability of cohesive metal powders is the coating of micro-sized powder particles with small amounts of nanoparticles. In this article, significant improvements in powder layer smoothness and ρrel of LBM samples are shown by statistical analysis of physical experiments on the example of Al-Si powders dry coated with 0.5 wt% nanoparticular fumed silica SiOx. This setup was chosen because Al is most prone to powder flowability issues in LBM and no new chemical elements are added to the alloy from dry coated SiOx. Particle shape is varied from spherical over ovoidal to irregular using powder atomized with Ar, N and air. Effects of variations of PSD and LBM parameters on ρrel, defect types, microstructure and hardness using powders with and without SiOx are investigated. Because ρrel are skewed towards 100%, ANOVA on ranks is the applicable statistical method. Since the principle of using nanoparticles as spacers between microparticles is based on geometry, it is transferrable to other material systems. This may help for example to increase ρrel of LBM metal matrix composites prepared by mechanical alloying as non-spherical particles with considerable amounts of fine particles. The use of larger percentages of atomized powders in LBM can increase resource efficiency.
Karg, M., Munk, A., Ahuja, B., Backer, M.V., Schmitt, J.P., Stengel, C.,... Schmidt, M. (2018). Expanding particle size distribution and morphology of aluminium-silicon powders for Laser Beam Melting by dry coating with silica nanoparticles. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 264, 155-171. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2018.08.045
Karg, Michael, et al. "Expanding particle size distribution and morphology of aluminium-silicon powders for Laser Beam Melting by dry coating with silica nanoparticles." Journal of Materials Processing Technology 264 (2018): 155-171.