Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Xuan Wang; Christoph Maurer
The metallic additive manufacturing process known as selective laser melting requires highly spherical, normally distributed powder with diameters in the range of 10 to 50 microns. Previous observations have shown a degradation in powder quality over time, resulting in unwanted characteristics in the final printed parts. 21-6-9 stainless steel powder was used to fabricate test parts, with leftover powder recycled back into the machine. Powder samples and test specimens were characterized to observe changes across build cycles. Few changes were observed in the physical and mechanical properties of the specimens, however, there were indications of chemical changes across cycles. Potential areas of research were identified for future investigation into this subject.