Ripple formation and its effect on the multi-scale microstructure of Directed Energy Deposition (DED)-printed 316L components
An experimental study is presented to characterize the ripple formations in the directed energy deposition (DED) process and study the influence of the ripples on the heterogenous microstructure in the scan direction of a DED-printed 316L components. While considerable studies on ripple formations exist in the welding literature, these formations in DED process have not received much attention. Also, little prior efforts exist on the microstructure along the scan direction (or the scan surface) as compared with the build direction. Experiments consisted of printing 10 mm x 10 mm x 10 mm cubical components on a Optomec LENS 500 Hybrid Machine Tool under different laser power, scan speed and dwell time combinations, chosen according to a Latin hypercube design. The surface of the scan face of the prints were finished to an Ra < 30 nm, and etched with Aqua regia for 90 sec. An optical microscope was employed to observe the microstructure at 4 difference scales. The studies suggest a significant influence of ripple formations as well as the scan width on the solidification front, the dendritic patterns as well as the heterogenous microstructure.