Optimising the process parameters of selective laser melting for the fabrication of ti6al4v alloy
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Purpose - Surface roughness is an important evaluation index for industrial components, and it strongly depends on the processing parameters for selective laser molten Ti6Al4V parts. This paper aims to obtain an optimum selective laser melting (SLM) parameter set to improve the surface roughness of Ti6Al4V samples. Design/methodology/approach - A response surface methodology (RSM)-based approach is proposed to improve the surface quality of selective laser molten Ti6Al4V parts and understand the relationship between the SLM process parameters and the surface roughness. The main SLM parameters (i.e. laser power, scan speed and hatch spacing) are optimized, and Ti6Al4V parts are manufactured by the SLM technology with no post processes. Findings - Optimum process parameters were obtained using the RSM method to minimise the roughness of the top and vertical side surfaces. Obtained parameter sets were evaluated based on their productivity and surface quality performance. The validation tests have been performed, and the results verified the effectivity of the proposed technique. It was also shown that the top and vertical sides must be handled together to obtain better top surface quality. Practical implications - The obtained optimum SLM parameter set can be used in the manufacturing of Ti6Al4V components with high surface roughness requirement. Originality/value - RSM is used to analyse and determine the optimal combination of SLM parameters with the aim of improving the surface roughness quality of Ti6Al4V components, for the first time in the literature. Also, this is the first study which aims to simultaneously optimise the surface quality of top and vertical sides of titanium alloys.