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Scientific Publication Citing Dragonfly

Relative performance of additively manufactured and cast aluminum alloys

Lisa Brock (1), Ibrahim Ogunsanya (1), Hamed Asgari (1), Sagar Patel (1), Mihaela Vlasea (1)
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance volume, 30, January 2021: 760–782. DOI: 10.1007/s11665-020-05403-7


aluminum alloy; advanced characterization; automotive and transportation; additive manufacturing; casting; solidification; fluid power applications; laser powder bed fusion


Laser power bed fusion (LPBF) enables the possibility to improve the performance of critical automotive components by leveraging new design and manufacturing potentials. While the LPBF approach taps into numerous design freedom advantages, the finely focused energy input source, layer-wise thermal cycling, and rapid cooling rates also impact the properties of a given material, thereby affecting performance characteristics of the end-product. The microstructure and mechanical properties of LPBF components must hence be thoroughly compared with the traditional processing technique used for a given application to evaluate its feasibility. In the context of this work, AlSi10Mg processed via LPBF is compared to a high-pressure die-cast aluminum alloy to compare the performance toward technology adoption in manufacturing automotive transmissions. It was found that, with proper process control, LPBF parts can achieve better or comparable density of 99.84–99.95% (cast: 99.15–99.97% cast), similar surface topography, comparable hardness of 54.3–69.3 HRB (cast: 72.8–81.5 HRB), comparable specific wear rates of 3.92*10−4 to 6.04*10−4 mm3N−1m−1 (cast: 2.50*10−4 to 2.55*10−4 mm3N−1m−1), and an overall better corrosion resistance compared to the cast pump housing. The findings show that, with an appropriate selection of process parameters, it is feasible to pursue and possibly enhance the performance of AlSi10Mg for fluid power applications using LPBF.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used to generate a 3D visualization of the pore volume and distribution within the samples.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada.

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