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Ad-Proc-Add: Institute for Production Engineering and Photonic Technologies at TU Wien optimizes process parameters for powder bed printing processes

As part of the Ad-Proc-Add project accompanied by ecoplus Mechatronics-Cluster, the Institute for Production Engineering and Photonic Technologies at TU Wien investigated optimal process parameters for powder bed printing processes to produce dense and high-quality components. The research team developed and validated a reliable, cost-effective method for parameter optimization, as well as an approach for parameter transformation that enables the transfer of SLM process parameters between different machines. The results obtained were made available to the public.

Powder bed printing processes offer many benefits, but also pose several challenges in producing components with high material density while minimizing the risk of microcracks that could result in component failure during the product’s lifespan. To tackle the difficulties posed by powder bed printing processes, Dipl.-Ing. Dimitrii Nikolaev and Dipl.-Ing. Ismail Yavuz, under the supervision of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Friedrich Bleicher, studied how different process parameters affect additive process technology. They specifically examined the effects of factors such as scan speed, build rate, laser power, and component orientation. This study was carried out within the inter-company cooperation project Ad-Proc-Add.

The research team used a defined design of experiments (DoE) and a test part geometry (image) to examine various powder materials, process parameters, and post-processing technologies. The goal was to develop a reliable, cost-effective, and machine-independent method for optimizing parameters for existing or new powder materials. This method involves a multi-stage iterative investigation of the relative density of printed samples and aims to optimize to at least 99%. While further optimization was found to be less reliable, the workflow can be applied in a reduced form to evaluate machine and powder performance or provide a quick assessment of potential parameter optimization.
In addition to parameter optimization, the team developed a parameter transformation approach that is capable of transferring SLM process parameters from one machine type or manufacturer to another. The transformation approach takes into account the essential differences in equipment and process environment to achieve a similar appearance of the isolated weld seam and provide conversion coefficients for selected parameters. This enables adaptation to two different process situations, making a further parameter optimization study possible.

Both methods were validated in studies carried out for parameter optimization within the scientific and industrial consortium of the AdProcAdd project. In addition to parameter optimization, it was confirmed that intermediate treatment of the workpiece with hot isostatic pressing represents a considerable opportunity for increasing the relative density of LPBF additively manufactured components.

The knowledge gained supports system and service providers in developing new products with enhanced functionalities, and enables end-users to implement ASM process chains with higher productivity, as well as increased economic and ecological efficiency.

The digital compendium containing the complete project information can be downloaded free of charge here. More information is also available on the project website: www.ad-proc-add.eu.

Contact person
DI Benjamin Losert, Projektmanager Mechatronik-Cluster ecoplus.
Niederösterreichs Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH
Niederösterreich-Ring 2, Haus A, 3100 St. Pölten
E-Mail: b.losert@ecoplus.at, Tel.: +43 2742 9000-19669

About ecoplus
As privately run agency with decades of experience, with a highly-specialized team and an expansive network, we offer tailored services to your business. With 16 business parks throughout Lower Austria, we also provide first-class business locations for companies. Our technopols focus on building up technology oriented business locations near existing research and educational facilities. We can also help find access to regional funding and give you a competitive advantage through innovative cooperation’s projects in clusters & platforms that we manage. You can visit the new House of Digitalization in Tulln, which is the flagship project of Lower Austria’s digitalization strategy. In addition, companies from Lower Austrian and abroad can count on our support through the Export / Expat & Relocation Service.

Funding organisations
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, German Federation of Industrial Research Associations eV, Collective Research Networking (BMWK/AiF-CORNET), Austrian Funding Agency (FFG), Confederation Switzerland and Flanders Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).

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