Metallography of 3D printed components

Černický David - Metalco Testing s.r.o. (Czech Republic)

The aim of the lecture is to show suitable and tested preparation methods for the preparation of metallographic samples made by 3D printing for subsequent image analysis as well as other evaluation procedures such as electron microscopy, etc. We will discuss both the possibilities of analyzing metal powders intended for 3D printing, as well as the microstructure of the printed part itself. The procedures here are completely different. A poorly chosen methodology for metallographic sample preparation can significantly affect the quality and accuracy of the resulting measurement. Incorrect preparation procedure also disproportionately increases the cost of sample preparation. The lecture will focus on the correct technique of sampling material from a 3D printed part, embedding and grinding/polishing, including recommendations for the selection of consumables. Just by choosing an inappropriate direction of cutting, which does not respect the construction strategy of the print, e.g. the evaluation of porosity can be completely impossible. Suitable methodologies for observing and measuring the surface layer, porosity, structure and methods for measuring hardness and micro-hardness are discussed. The results of these analyzes then give us important information, for example, about the stress in the materials generated by the deformation. Or about heat treatment needs. Heat treatment of 3D printed parts is often performed in the same way as conventional molded and cast materials. At the same time, the macro and microstructure of printed products is completely different, and there are therefore completely different needs to modify the microstructure to achieve optimal mechanical properties.

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