Microstructure of Inconel 718 parts with constant mass energy input manufactured with direct energy deposition
Mikrostruktur von Inconel 718 additiv gefertigten Bauteilen mittel Laser-Pulver-Auftragschweißen bei konstantem Massenenergieeintrag
The laser-based direct energy deposition (DED) as a technology for additive manufacturing allows the production of near net shape components. Industrial applications require a stable process to ensure reproducible quality. Instabilities in the manufacturing process can lead to faulty components which do not meet the required properties. The DED process is adjusted by various parameters such as laser power, velocity, powder mass flow and spot diameter, which interact with each other. A frequently used comparative parameter in welding is the energy per unit length and is calculated from the laser power and the velocity in laser welding. The powder per unit length comparative parameter in the DED process has also be considered, because this filler material absorbs energy in addition to the base material. This paper deals with the influence of mass energy as a comparative parameter for determining the properties of additively manufactured parts. The same energy per unit length of 60 J/mm as well as the same powder per unit length of 7.2 mg/mm can be adjusted with different parameter sets. The energy per unit length and the powder per unit length determine the mass energy. The laser power is varied within the experiments between 400 W and 900 W. Energy per unit length and powder per unit length are kept constant by adjusting velocity and powder mass flow. Using the example of Inconel 718, experiments are carried out with the determined parameter sets. In a first step, individual tracks are produced and analyzed by means of micro section. The geometry of the tracks shows differences in height and width. In addition, the increasing laser power leads to a higher dilution of the base material. To determine the suitability of the parameters for additive manufacturing use, the individual tracks are used to build up parts with a square base area of 20×20 mm². An investigation by Archimedean principle shows a higher porosity with lower laser power. By further analysis of the micro sections, at low laser power, connection errors occur between the tracks. The results show that laser power, velocity and powder mass flow must be considered in particular, because a constant mass energy can lead to different geometric as well as microscopic properties.