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Effect of Laser Power and Powder Flow Rate on Properties of Laser Metal Deposited Ti6Al4V

Authors: Mukul Shukla, Esther T. Akinlabi, Rasheedat M. Mahamood, Sisa. Pityana


Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) is an additive manufacturing process with capabilities that include: producing new part directly from 3 Dimensional Computer Aided Design (3D CAD) model, building new part on the existing old component and repairing an existing high valued component parts that would have been discarded in the past. With all these capabilities and its advantages over other additive manufacturing techniques, the underlying physics of the LMD process is yet to be fully understood probably because of high interaction between the processing parameters and studying many parameters at the same time makes it further complex to understand. In this study, the effect of laser power and powder flow rate on physical properties (deposition height and deposition width), metallurgical property (microstructure) and mechanical (microhardness) properties on laser deposited most widely used aerospace alloy are studied. Also, because the Ti6Al4V is very expensive, and LMD is capable of reducing buy-to-fly ratio of aerospace parts, the material utilization efficiency is also studied. Four sets of experiments were performed and repeated to establish repeatability using laser power of 1.8 kW and 3.0 kW, powder flow rate of 2.88 g/min and 5.67 g/min, and keeping the gas flow rate and scanning speed constant at 2 l/min and 0.005 m/s respectively. The deposition height / width are found to increase with increase in laser power and increase in powder flow rate. The material utilization is favoured by higher power while higher powder flow rate reduces material utilization. The results are presented and fully discussed.

Keywords: Microstructure, Ti6Al4V, laser metal deposition, Material Efficiency

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