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Microstructure characterisation and process optimization of laser assisted rapid fabrication of 316L stainless steel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date15/07/2005
JournalApplied Surface Science
Number of pages8
Original languageEnglish


In the present study, laser assisted fabrication of 316L stainless steel has been attempted using a high power (1.5 kW) continuous wave diode laser. The main process variables for the present study were applied power density, scan speed and powder feed rate. A detailed microstructural study of the surface and cross-section of the fabricated layer were carried out using optical and scanning electron microscopy to understand the influence of laser parameters on microstructure of the surface and interface between the successive layers. The microstructure of the top layer was equiaxed, the near substrate region was fine dendritic, however, at the interface between two successive layers, it was coarsened. The morphology and degree of fineness of the microstructure was found to vary with laser parameters. The range of grain size (maximum grain size-minimum grain size) was taken as a measure of homogeneity. It was found that with increasing the scan speed, the range of grain size was minimized. Micro-porosities were present in the microstructure that reduced with increasing scan speed and found to be minimum at a medium powder feed rate. The optimum processing conditions have been established by correlating the characteristics of the fabricated layer with process parameters. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Applied Surface Science 247 (1-4), 2005, © ELSEVIER.