In-situ Monitoring and Defect Detection of Selective Laser Melting Process and Impact of Process Parameters on the Quality of Fabricated SS 316L
Roozbahani H.; Alizadeh M.; Handroos H.; Salminen A.; Modaresialam M.
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an advanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique for the 3D printing of metals. SLM process parameters and different types of defects that may appear during the manufacturing process affect the quality of the final product. Setting laser parameters and online defect detection contributes to improving the quality of parts fabricated through SLM technology. In this study, the effect of the process parameters on the properties of the product built by the SLM process was investigated, and an in-situ monitoring platform was developed to detect two types of defects during the SLM process. Different samples were built from stainless steel AISI 316 L powder, utilizing various laser process parameters. Using microscopy imaging technique, the melt structure features of the constructed samples were tested, and the results were analyzed. The dependency of porosity formation on laser process parameters and scan strategy was investigated. Moreover, hardness test was performed for all built samples. The platform developed for in-situ monitoring purposes includes an AM machine equipped with pulsed laser, camera, illumination system, and powerful industrial computer equipped with Cameral Link Adapter, FPGA, and Real-Time (RT) modules. An algorithm was designed using LabVIEW® software based on Particle Analysis (PA) to cease the process in the event of detection of defect in any fused layers. The first defect was caused by changing the laser spot diameter, which altered the energy intensity of the laser on the surface, and the second defect was created by the uneven thickness of powder on the platform. The monitoring system detected both defects and stopped the process immediately according to the designed algorithm. Images were taken from the melting process layer by layer using a high-performance camera.
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