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Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) is a form of additive manufacturing (AM) that uses a laser beam to fuse powder particles together layer by layer to create 3D components. While AM is widely used in various industries, it is not frequently used for safety-critical applications, such as turbine blades or ship propellers, due to the potential for process and product inconsistencies; these inconsistencies can lead to undesirable mechanical performance and premature failure during use.
Understanding how imperfections, such as pores, micro-cracks, and inclusions, can occur during the LPBF process requires insight into the mechanisms by which they occur during the printing process.
In a recent study, scientists at Rolls Royce were able to use in situ X-ray imaging at Diamond to investigate the evolution of porosity and surface roughness during LPBF.
This work provides insight into the criteria that govern the formation of imperfections in LPBF and suggests ways to improve process reliability.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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