Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology will collaborate with Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies on a five-year project to perform material analysis for the selective laser melting (SLM) process in a metal powder bed. To make a part, a focused laser beam follows a predetermined trajectory to quickly melt metal particles in the powder bed and solidify the molten metal into the desired shape, layer-by-layer, based on a computer-aided design model. The project consists of five tasks: powder characterization, material property characterization methods, temperature effects on material properties, controlling microstructure and mechanical properties, and chemistry specifically for additive manufacturing.

With equipment that Honeywell purchased and installed for the project, the team has four research objectives: to predict the properties of the built parts, control microstructures to achieve desired properties, maximize powder reuse and increase product sustainability. Stainless steel 304L is used initially as the build material.

According to Dr. Ming Leu, the leader of the project, “A major benefit with this method is that it minimizes the time of product realization. With metal additive manufacturing, you can make parts of very complex geometry with internal features that can’t be made by conventional methods.”

Learn more about the project here.