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A comparative study of wire feeding and powder feeding in direct diode laser deposition for rapid prototyping

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Surface Science
Issue number1-4
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)268-276
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Metal powder feeding has been used widely in various rapid prototyping and tooling processes such as direct laser deposition (DLD) and layered engineered net shaping (LENS) to achieve near net shape accuracy. Although powder recycling has been practiced, the material usage efficiency has been very low (normally below 30%). This study compares the process characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of wire- and powder-feed DLD. A 1.5 kW diode laser is used to build multiple layer parts, which are compared and analysed in terms of surface finish, microstructure and deposition efficiency. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction and optical microscopy are used for the material characterisation. The microstructure of samples from both the methods is similar, with some porosity found in powder-feed components, but the surface finish and material usage efficiency is better for wire-feed samples. The deposition angle is found to be critical in the case of wire feeding and the characteristics of different feed angles are explored. Possible reasons for the different characteristics of the two deposition techniques are discussed. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.