Laser-Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) is an additive manufacturing technique used to melt metal material into solid three-dimensional parts. While offering a high degree of design freedom, L-PBF still has technical restrictions, like the achievable surface roughness, resolution and the need for support structures in overhanging areas. [1]

Currently, L-PBF is used mainly to produce small batches of parts and prototypes. [2] In order to fully industrialize the technology, the research campus in Aachen is investigating possible future applications in turbomachinery while developing the corresponding processes with industry partners.

Sealing systems, like honeycomb seal strips in gas turbines often require time-consuming joining and assembly operations that can be avoided by building up the structure monolithically using L-PBF.

The following process development study proves the feasibility of manufacturing honeycombs with L-PBF using the Nickel-based super-alloy Inconel 718 (IN718) on an EOS M290 machine. Here, we have evaluated the economic aspects of different build orientations of the seal strips. Afterwards, we conducted a systematic parameter study with continuous and pulsed wave laser emission and investigated the resulting wall thicknesses. A reduction in wall thickness of about 30% can be observed when a modulated laser is used.

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