Currently, the surface integrity-related issues of additively manufactured parts are limiting the potential high-end applications. The present work investigates the effectiveness of the pulsed-electropolishing technique to improve the surface integrity of aluminium alloys fabricated using the selective laser melting (SLM) technique. Due to its low density, high corrosion resistance, the aluminium alloys considerably enhance the performance of lightweight critical parts for different industrial applications. In this study, selective laser melted AlSi10Mg samples were subjected to microstructural examinations using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction technique. The microhardness and tensile properties were determined using a microhardness tester and a universal testing machine, respectively. The pulsed-electropolishing process was employed for the surface finishing of the SLM-processed AlSi10Mg samples. The effect of current density on the electropolishing of selective laser melted AlSi10Mg alloy were also investigated. The microstructures of printed samples revealed a density of greater than 99.9% and weld beads along the build direction (longitudinal) and laser scan paths perpendicular to the build direction (transverse). The microhardness, yield and tensile strength properties were similar in both as-printed conditions. The pulsed electropolishing results showed a beneficial effect of higher current density values, resulting in decreased surface roughness of the SLM-processed AlSi10Mg samples. Compared to as-printed conditions, a significant decrease in surface roughness of about ∼73.35% under optimized electropolishing conditions was noted. The material ratio curve shows that the surface topography becomes more uniform with increased current density and has lesser surface undulations for as-printed samples. The 2D line profilogram and 3D surface topography of electropolished SLM-processed samples reveal the surface finish quality characteristics. The material ratio curve aids as an effective method to assess and qualify the surface topography of electropolished samples.
|Journal||Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanical Engineering