Kovove Materialy, vol.60, no.1, pp.55-65, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022 Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics, Slovak Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (LB-PBF) is a metal additive manufacturing process with the highest technological maturity and industrial acceptance levels due to its main advantage of producing complex geometries. However, there are yet some barriers to overcome for the broader adoption of LB-PBF. One of them is the questionable part quality depending on various factors, including the specimen geometry and build orientation. Thus, this study aims to understand the effect of the build orientation and specimen thickness on the obtained microstructure and mechanical properties of AISI 316L samples in terms of tensile behavior and microhardness. As a result of this study, it is observed that the variation in microhardness of samples built in different orientations or with different thicknesses is negligible. Moreover, the thickness of the tensile test specimen only affects the ductility mainly due to the statistically higher risk of a detrimental effect of the defects in the thinner specimens, whereas the build direction is more influential on the yield and ultimate tensile strength values leading to an approximate change of 15 % and anisotropic results. Vertically standing samples exhibit the lowest strength values among all build directions. The changes in the tensile properties are attributed to the microstructural effects, including grain size, morphology, and orientation.