Development of a Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process Tailored for the Additive Manufacturing of High-Quality Components Made of the Commercial Magnesium Alloy WE43
Materials - Special Issue "New Frontiers in Materials Design for Laser Additive Manufacturing"
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
Additive manufacturing (AM) has become increasingly important over the last decade and the quality of the products generated with AM technology has strongly improved. The most common metals that are processed by AM techniques are steel, titanium (Ti) or aluminum (Al) alloys. However, the proportion of magnesium (Mg) in AM is still negligible, possibly due to the poor processability of Mg in comparison to other metals. Mg parts are usually produced by various casting processes and the experiences in additive manufacturing of Mg are still limited. To address this issue, a parameter screening was conducted in the present study with experiments designed to find the most influential process parameters. In a second step, these parameters were optimized in order to fabricate parts with the highest relative density. This experiment led to processing parameters with which specimens with relative densities above 99.9\% could be created. These high-density specimens were then utilized in the fabrication of test pieces with several different geometries, in order to compare the material properties resulting from both the casting process and the powder bed fusion (PBF-LB) process. In this comparison, the compositions of the occurring phases and the alloys’ microstructures as well as the mechanical properties were investigated. Typically, the microstructure of metal parts, produced by PBF-LB, consisted of much finer grains compared to as-cast parts. Consequently, the strength of Mg parts generated by PBF-LB could be further increased.