Understanding Surface Roughness of Additively Manufactured Nickel Superalloy for Space Applications

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For many applications, including space applications, the usability and performance of a component is dependent on the surface topology of the additively manufactured part. The purpose of this paper is to present an investigation into minimizing the residual surface roughness of direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) samples by manipulating the input process parameters.

First, the ability to manipulate surface roughness by modifying processing parameters was explored. Next, the surface topography was characterized to quantify roughness. Finally, microthruster nozzles were created both additively and conventionally for flow testing and comparison.

Surface roughness of DMLS samples was found to be highly dependent on the laser power and scan speed. Because of unintended partially sintered particles adhering to the surface, a localized laser fluence mechanism was explored. Experimental results show that surface roughness is influenced by the varied parameters but is not a completely fluence driven process; therefore, a relationship between laser fluence and surface roughness can be incorporated but not completely assumed.

Abstract © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited


This is a subscription-access article, available to readers with a subscription to Rapid Prototyping Journal, using the DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-02-2019-0049



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Rapid Prototyping Journal

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