New process strategies for laser-based powder bed fusion of metals

Katrin WudyTechnical University Munich, Germany

Powder bed fusion of metals using laser beam (PBF-LB/M) offers new opportunities for manufacturing parts with tailored properties and geometries that traditional (subtractive) processes cannot match. Therefore, the production of additively manufactured parts (especially made by PBF-LB/M) is growing exponentially. Nevertheless, the transition of this technology from prototyping to production of critical parts is affected by the lack of reproducibility in part quality. Obstacles for the production of serial parts via PBF-LB/M are the reliability of component properties, their mentioned reproducibility as well as the long processing times. Furthermore, process defects like keyhole formation, spatter, lack of fusion and evaporation may cause component defects like pores, cracks, unmelted particles and misconnections. The research group at the Professorship of Laser-based Additive Manufacturing at Technical University of Munich faces these challenges with a hierarchical approach, which combines process monitoring with new processing strategies. For example, more homogeneous temperature fields during powder bed fusion and finally design tailored material properties can be achieved.