Influence of Internal Topologies on Components Produced by Selective Laser Melting: Numerical Analysis
Regardless of the manufacturing process used,
subtractive or additive, material, purpose and application, produced
components are conventionally solid mass with more or less complex
shape depending on the production technology selected. Aspects
such as reducing the weight of components, associated with the low
volume of material required and the almost non-existent material
waste, speed and flexibility of production and, primarily, a high
mechanical strength combined with high structural performance, are
competitive advantages in any industrial sector, from automotive,
molds, aviation, aerospace, construction, pharmaceuticals, medicine
and more recently in human tissue engineering. Such features,
properties and functionalities are attained in metal components
produced using the additive technique of Rapid Prototyping from
metal powders commonly known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM),
with optimized internal topologies and varying densities. In order to
produce components with high strength and high structural and
functional performance, regardless of the type of application, three
different internal topologies were developed and analyzed using
numerical computational tools. The developed topologies were
numerically submitted to mechanical compression and four point
bending testing. Finite Element Analysis results demonstrate how
different internal topologies can contribute to improve mechanical
properties, even with a high degree of porosity relatively to fully
dense components. Results are very promising not only from the
point of view of mechanical resistance, but especially through the
achievement of considerable variation in density without loss of
structural and functional high performance.
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