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The effects of particle size distribution on the rheological properties of the powder and the mechanical properties of additively manufactured 17-4 PH stainless steel

Published

Author(s)

Jordan S. Weaver, Justin G. Whiting, Vipin Tondare, Carlos R. Beauchamp, Max A. Peltz, Jared B. Tarr, Thien Q. Phan, Mehmet Donmez

Abstract

It is well known that changes in the starting powder can have a significant impact on the laser powder bed fusion process and subsequent part performance. Relationships between the powder particle size distribution and powder performance such as flowability and spreadability are generally known; however, links to part performance are not fully established. This study attempts to more precisely isolate the effect of particle size by using three customized batches of 17-4 PH stainless steel powders with small shifts in particle size distributions having non-intersecting cumulative size distributions, designated as Fine, Medium, and Coarse. It is found that the Fine powder has the worst overall powder performance with poor flow and raking during spreading while the Coarse powder has the best overall flow. Despite these differences in powder performance, the microstructures (i.e., porosity, grain size, phase, and crystallographic texture) of the built parts using the same process parameters are largely the same. Furthermore, the Medium powder produced parts with the highest mechanical properties (i.e., hardness and tensile strength) while the Fine and Coarse powders produced parts with effectively identical mechanical properties. Parts with good static mechanical properties can be produced from powders with a wide range of powder performance.
Citation
Additive Manufacturing
Volume
39

Keywords

laser powder bed fusion, electron backscatter diffraction, martensite, precursor material qualification, tensile properties

Citation

Weaver, J. , Whiting, J. , Tondare, V. , Beauchamp, C. , Peltz, M. , Tarr, J. , Phan, T. and Donmez, M. (2021), The effects of particle size distribution on the rheological properties of the powder and the mechanical properties of additively manufactured 17-4 PH stainless steel, Additive Manufacturing, [online], https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2021.101851 (Accessed May 20, 2022)
Created January 13, 2021, Updated March 1, 2021