Selective laser melting (SLM), a powder metallurgical (PM) additive manufacturing (AM) technology, is able to produce fully functional parts directly from standard metal powders without using any intermediate binders or any additional post-processing steps. During the process, a laser beam selectively scans a powder bed according to the CAD data of the part to be produced and completely melts the powder particles together. Stacking and bonding two-dimensional powder layers in this way, allows production of fully dense parts with any geometrical complexity. The scanning of the powder bed by the laser beam can be achieved in several different ways, one of which is island or sectoral scanning. In this way, the area to be scanned is divided in small square areas (‘sectors’) which are scanned in a random order. This study is carried out to explore the influence of sectoral scanning on density, surface quality, mechanical properties and residual stresses formed during SLM. The experiments are carried out on a machine with an Nd:YAG laser source using AISI 316L stainless steel powder. As a result of this experimental study, it is concluded that sectoral scanning has some advantages such as lower residual stresses and better surface quality. However, the selection of parameters related to sectoral scanning is a critical task since it may cause aligned porosity at the edges between sectors or scanned tracks, which is very undesired in terms of mechanical properties.

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