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On the relationship between laser scan strategy, texture variations and hidden nucleation sites for failure in laser powder-b...

by Luc L Dessieux
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While laser powder-bed fusion has overcome some of the design constraints of conventional manufacturing methods, it requires careful selection of process parameters and scan strategies to obtain favorable properties. Here we show that even simple scan strategies, complex ones being inevitable when printing intricate designs, can inadvertently produce local alterations of the microstructure and preferential grain orientation over small areas – which easily remain unnoticed across the macroscale. We describe how a combined usage of neutron imaging and electron backscatter diffraction can reveal these localized variations and explain their origin within cm-sized parts. We explain the observed contrast variations by linking the neutron images to simulated data, pole figures and EBSD, providing an invaluable reference for future studies and showing that presumably minor changes of the scan strategy can have detrimental effects on the mechanical properties. In-situ tensile tests reveal that fracture occurs in a region that was re-melted during the building process.