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Round Robin Study to Evaluate Consistency of 4340 Steel Specimens Manufactured by Different Laser Powder Bed Fusion Machines
The U.S. Army is evaluating metal additive manufacturing as a next generation technology to enhance capabilities. To exploit the full benefits of this technology, challenges have to be overcome in terms of the manufacturing maturity for part qualification and certification. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center [formerly known as the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC)] located at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, conducted a round robin build demonstration of Laser-Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) using 4340 steel. Six participants took part in the round robin, with equipment including the EOSINT M270, EOSINT M280, 3D Systems ProX 300, and SLM 280. Round robin builds consisted of tensile specimens in the horizontal (XY) and vertical (Z) orientations in the four corners and center location of the build platform, metallurgical cubes at each location, and a KIC fracture toughness specimen in the center. The built specimens were heat treated and machined to appropriate specifications. The mechanical property test results were analyzed as a function of build plate location and orientation across a series of L-PBF machines. Statistical analysis was then used to detect data relationships and general trends.
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