High Throughput Mechanical Testing Platform and Application in Metal Additive Manufacturing and Process Optimization

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Journal of Manufacturing Processes

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Agility of additive manufacturing (AM) warrants a development of an equally agile, high-throughput properties evaluation technique that can efficiently assess properties of AM specimens as functions of materials and process variables. High throughput (HTP) tensile testing rig has been developed, enabled by miniature sample design and Python based control codes for a full automation of testing and data processing. The rig is capable of testing 60 specimens per hour, much faster than conventional tensile testing. To luminate the merit of its use, an efficient process optimization workflow based on HTP testing is proposed and demonstrated on laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) built stainless steel 316 L. A total of 40 miniature specimens were built with various LPBF parameters (i.e., power and scanning speed) by design of experiment (DoE) incorporating 2 factors, 3 levels, and 4 repeats. Ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and elongation at fracture (EL) were used to study sensitivity of processing parameters. An analytical model was employed to optimize the LPBF parameters to maximize UTS or EL or both. In addition, the as-printed microstructure and post-testing fracture surfaces were examined by optical and scanning electron microscopy. Rapid assessment of properties enabled to efficiently optimize the AM processing parameters, and to establish a more robust processing-structure-property relationship, which would ensure and promotereliable application of AM components.


Journal of Manufacturing Processes, Vol. 66 (June 2021): 494-505. DOI.