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Pulsed laser polishing of selective laser melted aluminium alloy parts

Bhaduri, Debajyoti ORCID:, Ghara, Tina, Penchev, Pavel, Paul, Soumitra, Pruncu, Catalin I., Dimov, Stefan and Morgan, David ORCID: 2021. Pulsed laser polishing of selective laser melted aluminium alloy parts. Applied Surface Science 558 , 149887. 10.1016/j.apsusc.2021.149887

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Laser polishing (LP) of aluminium alloys by re-melting is particularly challenging due to their high thermal conductivity, diffusivity and reflectivity. In this research, a novel LP strategy is proposed to improve material’s re-melting by introducing a thermally insulating ceramic baseplate during nanosecond-pulsed laser polishing of selective laser melted (SLM) AlSi10Mg parts in atmospheric and argon environments. The strategy considerably improves the material’s re-melting as realised via sub-surface temperature measurements. This leads to a substantial reduction in the average roughness Sa (by ~80-88%) and neutral/compressive residual stresses (up to −19 MPa) when polishing in air with a laser energy density of 12 J/cm2 and 10 scanning passes. In contrast, the unpolished SLM counterparts exhibit tensile stresses, up to +55 MPa. Laser polishing, however, somewhat reduces the Al parts’ bulk hardnesses (by ~15-25%) compared to the as-built specimens. Heat affected zones (HAZ) in the form of Al-rich white layers up to a depth of ~35 µm beneath the LP surfaces are observed on the cross-sectional microstructures. The study reveals the importance of controlling the heat dissipation from the objects when laser polishing of thermally conductive materials to achieve the desired surface integrity properties.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0169-4332
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 20 April 2021
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 17:05

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