The rapid manufacturing process of selective laser melting has been used to produce a series of stainless steel 316L microlattice structures. Laser power and laser exposure time are the two processing parameters used for manufacturing the lattice structures and, therefore, control the quality and mechanical properties of microlattice parts. An evaluation of the lattice material was undertaken by manufacturing a range of struts, representative of the individual trusses of the microlattices, as well as, microlattice block structures. Low laser powers were shown to result in significantly lower strand strengths due to the presence of inclusions of unmelted powder in the strut cross-sections. Higher laser powers resulted in struts that were near to full density as the measured strengths were comparable to the bulk 316L values. Uniaxial compression tests on microlattice blocks highlighted the effect of manufacturing parameters on the mechanical properties of these structures and a linear relationship was found between the plateau stress and elastic modulus relative to the measured relative density.
The Influence of Processing Parameters on the Mechanical Properties of Selectively Laser Melted Stainless Steel Microlattice Structures
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Tsopanos, S., Mines, R. A. W., McKown, S., Shen, Y., Cantwell, W. J., Brooks, W., and Sutcliffe, C. J. (July 23, 2010). "The Influence of Processing Parameters on the Mechanical Properties of Selectively Laser Melted Stainless Steel Microlattice Structures." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. August 2010; 132(4): 041011. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4001743
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