Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) is becoming a more widely accepted method for the production of near net-shape products across a range of industries and alloys. Depending on the end application, a level of process substantiation is required for new parts or alloys. Prior knowledge of the likely process parameter ranges that will provide a target region for the process integrity can save valuable time and resource during initial ALM trials. In this paper, the parameters used during the powder bed ALM process have been taken from the literature and the present study to construct normalised process maps for the ALM process by building on an approach taken by Ion et al. in the early 1990's (J.C. Ion, H.R. Shercliff, M.F. Ashby, Acta Metallurgica et Materialia 40 (1992) 1539–1551). These process maps present isopleths of normalised equivalent energy density (E0*) and are designed to provide a practical framework for comparing a range of ALM platforms, alloys and process parameters and provide a priori information on microstructure. The diagrams provide a useful reference and methodology to aid in the selection of appropriate processing parameters during the early development stages. This paper also applies the methodology to worked examples of Ti–6Al–4V depositions processed using different Electron Beam Melting parameters.

This article originally appeared in Acta Materialia108, 2016, Pages 26-35.