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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2019, Volume 14, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11465-019-0526-1

Review of materials used in laser-aided additive manufacturing processes to produce metallic products

. Intelligent Manufacturing Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education, Shantou University, Shantou 515063, China.. Shantou Ruixiang Mould Co. Ltd., Jinping S&T Park, Shantou 515064, China.. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, Rupnagar 140001, India.. IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-004 Lisboa, Portugal

Accepted: 2018-09-29 Available online:2018-09-29

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Rapid prototyping (RP) or layered manufacturing (LM) technologies have been extensively used to manufacture prototypes composed mainly of plastics, polymers, paper, and wax due to the short product development time and low costs of these technologies. However, such technologies, with the exception of selective laser melting and sintering, are not used to fabricate metallic products because of the resulting poor life, short cycle, poor surface finish, and low structural integrity of the fabricated parts. The properties endowed by these parts do not match those of functional parts. Therefore, extensive research has been conducted to develop new additive manufacturing (AM) technologies by extending existing RP technologies. Several AM technologies have been developed for the fabrication of metallic objects. These technologies utilize materials, such as Ni-, Al-, and Ti-based alloys and stainless steel powders, to fabricate high-quality functional components. The present work reviews the type of materials used in laser-based AM processes for the manufacture of metallic products. The advantages and disadvantages of processes and different materials are summarized, and future research directions are discussed in the final section. This review can help experts select the ideal type of process or technology for the manufacturing of elements composed of a given alloy or material (Ni, Ti, Al, Pb, and stainless steel).

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