Effect of process parameters on tribological performance of 316L stainless steel parts fabricated by selective laser melting
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2018 Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Selective laser melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing technique based on metallic powders that are melted by the energy of laser with a layer build-up technique. This paper investigates the effect of process parameters on tribological performance of 316L stainless steel samples made by SLM. Rectangular samples were produced using SLM at different laser powers and along different build-up directions. Sliding wear tests were conducted under two different normal loads at a constant frequency of 4 Hz in ambient temperature. A scanning electron microscope was used for observing the microstructures and wear tracks. The results showed that lower laser powers resulted in samples with lower hardness and densities and lack of fusion at melt pools boundaries. However, the effects of laser power and build-up direction on coefficient of friction (COF) and wear rate are not significant. At higher contact pressures, wear rate was higher, but COF was not affected remarkably. The findings suggest that further study of process parameters, material properties and performance can advance tribological applications of SLM parts.