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In-Situ Powder Bed Fusion Build Quality Assessment for Thermoplastics

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In-Situ Powder Bed Fusion Build Quality Assessment for Thermoplastics


Thermoplastics are widely used in Additive Manufacturing (AM) and the increased use in applications subjecting these materials to higher load factors or stress levels requires improved understanding of the build process, it’s monitoring, and control, to enhance predictability in the part properties and reduction in design allowables for AM.  This paper describes our laboratory laser powder bed fusion system and provides layer-by-layer thermal imaging results for Nylon test sample parts.  What’s unique in this method is that images are taken of the overall build surface for each layer, and of a more detailed laser bore-sighted thermal image measurement of the laser/powder interaction region is performed.  The thermal information collected throughout the part is then analyzed and compared with mechanical testing of the parts to build signatures for flaws which can limit overall part performance.  This paper postulates several flaw types and report on their thermal signature and relative impact on the mechanical properties.  Correlation of mechanical results with in-situ thermal build properties are suggested as a basis for developing control strategies for defect detection and remediation in the future.


Authors: Tim B. Phillips, Austin B. McElroy, Scott Fish,  Samantha S. Taylor, Adam D. Lewis, Joseph J. Beaman


Conference: CAMX 2016 – Anaheim


SKU/Code: TP16-0079


Pages: 13


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