Online from: 1995
Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering
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|Title:||Laser sintering of blended Al-Si powders|
|Author(s):||Eyitayo Olatunde Olakanmi, (Institute for Materials Research, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK), Kenneth W. Dalgarno, (School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK), Robert F. Cochrane, (Institute for Materials Research, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)|
|Citation:||Eyitayo Olatunde Olakanmi, Kenneth W. Dalgarno, Robert F. Cochrane, (2012) "Laser sintering of blended Al-Si powders", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 18 Iss: 2, pp.109 - 119|
|Keywords:||Additive manufacturing, Alloys, Aluminium alloy, Hypoeutectic Al-Si powders, Particle size measurement, Selective laser sintering, Sintering|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/13552541211212096 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||Eyitayo Olatunde Olakanmi wishes to acknowledge the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK for the sponsorship of this study at the Institute for Materials Research, University of Leeds.|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of particle size distribution, component ratio, particle packing arrangement, and chemical constitution on the laser sintering behaviour of blended hypoeutectic Al-Si powders.
Design/methodology/approach – A range of bimodal and trimodal powder blends were created through mixing Al-12Si and pure aluminium powder. The powder blends were then processed using selective laser sintering to investigate the effect of alloy composition, powder particle size and bed density on densification and microstructural evolution.
Findings – For all of the powder blends the sintered density increases with the specific laser energy input until a saturation level is reached. Beyond this saturation level no further increase in sintered density is obtained for an increase in specific laser energy input. However, the peak density achieved for a given blend varied significantly with the chemical constitution of the alloy, peaking at approximately 9?wt% Si. The tap density of the raw powder mixture (assumed to be representative of bed density) was also a significant factor.
Originality/value – This is the first study to consider the usefulness of silicon as an alloying element in aluminium alloys to be processed by selective laser sintering. In addition the paper outlines the key factors in optimising processing parameters and powder properties in order to attain sound sinterability for direct laser sintered parts.
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