Laser Beam Melting (LBM)

	Additively (SLM) manufactured wound spreader with internal channel and integrated RFID chip
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Additively (SLM) manufactured wound spreader with internal channel and integrated RFID chip

Laser Beam Melting is a powder bed based additive manufacturing process that is most widely used in the industry. The Fraunhofer IFAM deals with material and process development along the entire process chain of laser beam melting. Our powder analytics can be used to characterize the flow behavior and packing behavior of the raw material powder, which significantly influence the construction parameters. The complete parameter development for various materials (titanium, aluminum or steel alloys) is carried out at Fraunhofer IFAM. When determining the necessary heat treatments, we draw on our analytical capabilities and many years of experience in metal processing.

When carrying out investigations, we have a TRUMPF TruPrint 1000 and an EOS M270 Dual Mode system as well as extensive analytical equipment at our disposal.

 

Process description

Laser beam melting is an additive manufacturing process in which 3D components are digitally "cut" into 2D layers. In a powder bed, the cohesion of the particles is achieved via a high-performance laser that exposes the contours and surfaces of the 2D layers, causing the powder to melt and bond locally at these points. The steps are repeated layer by layer as the building platform lowers after each exposure to make room for a new layer of powder (see Figure 1). After the last layer has been exposed, the components, including the platform on which they were built, are de-powdered and removed from the system. The components can now be separated from the platform. Heat treatment is suitable as post-processing in order to eliminate thermal stresses.

Processable materials

  • Steel alloys
  • Nickel-base alloys
  • Cobalt chromium alloys
  • Titanium alloys
  • Aluminum alloys
  • Soft magnetic materials

 

 

Our offer

From consulting during design, material selection and process development through to post-processing and final inspection, the process is operated, analysed and scientifically monitored in-house. In detail we offer:

  • Powder characterization according to ISO/ASTM standards
  • Support in component selection and production-oriented design
  • Comprehensive material and process development along the process chain
  • Market studies and comparisons with other AM technologies
  • Support in process integration, training and workshops for Laser Beam Melting