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The Independent

June 19, 2019

LLNL Scientists Develop Solution for Defects in Metal 3D Builds

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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2019 12:00 am

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, along with scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) have discovered a solution to a major type of defect in metal 3D-printed parts.

Combining high performance computer simulations with X-ray imaging of the laser powder bed fusion (LBPF) metal additive manufacturing process obtained with SLAC’s synchrotron, researchers have found a way to negate the formation of pores — tiny holes created under the surface of a build that can initiate cracking in the finished part under stress. The mitigation strategy involves reducing the power of the laser as it slows down to make its turn along the serpentine path it takes to scan and build a metal layer. By varying the laser power throughout the build, they found, they could keep the laser’s depression depth shallow and constant. The research is described in the journal Nature Communications, published online on April 30.

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