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Sci Technol Adv Mater. 2018 Apr 18;19(1):370-380. doi: 10.1080/14686996.2018.1455154. eCollection 2018.

Selective laser melting of high-performance pure tungsten: parameter design, densification behavior and mechanical properties.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China.
National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Materials Surface Engineering Technology, Guangdong Institute of New Materials, Guangzhou, China.
School of Metallurgy & Materials, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


Selective laser melting (SLM) additive manufacturing of pure tungsten encounters nearly all intractable difficulties of SLM metals fields due to its intrinsic properties. The key factors, including powder characteristics, layer thickness, and laser parameters of SLM high density tungsten are elucidated and discussed in detail. The main parameters were designed from theoretical calculations prior to the SLM process and experimentally optimized. Pure tungsten products with a density of 19.01 g/cm3 (98.50% theoretical density) were produced using SLM with the optimized processing parameters. A high density microstructure is formed without significant balling or macrocracks. The formation mechanisms for pores and the densification behaviors are systematically elucidated. Electron backscattered diffraction analysis confirms that the columnar grains stretch across several layers and parallel to the maximum temperature gradient, which can ensure good bonding between the layers. The mechanical properties of the SLM-produced tungsten are comparable to that produced by the conventional fabrication methods, with hardness values exceeding 460 HV0.05 and an ultimate compressive strength of about 1 GPa. This finding offers new potential applications of refractory metals in additive manufacturing.


10 Engineering and Structural materials; 106 Metallic materials; 210 Thermoelectronics / Thermal transport / insulators; 303 Mechanical / Physical processing; 305 Plasma / Laser processing; Additive manufacturing; densification; laser parameter; linear energy; molten pool; parameter design; property; refractory metal; selective laser melting; tungsten

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