SUNConferences, RAPDASA 2014

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Melody van Rooyen, Thorsten Becker, Dimitri Dimitrov

Last modified: 2014-11-02


LaserCUSING is a Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process capable of manufacturing parts by melting powder with heat input from a laser beam. The LaserCusing process demonstrates potential for producing intricate geometries, specifically required for biomedical implants and aerospace applications. One main limitation to this form of rapid prototyping is the lack of published studies on the material performance of the resulting material. Studies on the material performance are often complicated by the dependence on several factors including starting powder properties, laser parameters and post-processing heat treatments. This study aims to investigate the heat-treatment of LaserCUSING produced Ti6Al4V. A combination of conventional and LaserCUSING-tailored heat treatments are performed. The resulting microstructures are studied and linked to the properties obtained from hardness tests.

The findings highlight that LaserCused Ti6Al4V is competitive with traditional materials provided optimal parameters are chosen and parts are subject to tailored post-processing. In the as-built condition, LaserCused Ti6Al4V displays superior hardness as a result of a martensitic microstructure and a poorer performance in ductility. However, the material performance can be improved by means of tailored heat treatments. Careful consideration must be given to suitable post-processing before the application in critical components in the aerospace or biomedical industry can occur.

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