Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) is a promising powder bed Additive Manufacturing technique for near-net-shape manufacture of high-value titanium components. However without post-manufacture HIPing the fatigue life of SEBM parts is currently dominated by the presence of porosity. In this study, the size, volume fraction, and spatial distribution of the pores in model samples have been characterised in 3D, using X-ray Computed Tomography, and correlated to the process variables. The average volume fraction of the pores (< 0.2%) was measured to be lower than that usually observed in competing processes, such as selective laser melting, but a strong relationship was found with the different beam strategies used to contour, and infill by hatching, a part section. The majority of pores were found to be small spherical gas pores, concentrated in the infill hatched region; this was attributed to the lower energy density and less focused beam used in the infill strategy allowing less opportunity for gas bubbles to escape the melt pool. Overall, increasing the energy density or focus of the beam was found to correlate strongly to a reduction in the level of gas porosity. Rarer irregular shaped pores were mostly located in the contour region and have been attributed to a lack of fusion between powder particles.
- Selective Electron Beam Melting
- X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT)