ANALYSIS OF SURFACE POST-PROCESSING TECHNIQUES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURED PARTS IN AEROSPACE

  • 1Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering, Pretoria, ZA
  • 2Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Laser Enabled Manufacturing Research, National Laser Centre, Pretoria, ZA
  • 3Tshwane University of Technology, Institute for Advanced Tooling (IAT), Pretoria, Pretoria, ZA

Abstract

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a fast growing innovative technology with attractiveness to transform the manufacturing segment of the aerospace industries due to its ability to produce final usable parts. However, the surface finish of AM produced parts usually fall short of desires when compared to the conventional manufacturing method. Therefore, post-processing is often required for surface finishing as applicable in the aerospace. In this context, the AM post-processing techniques are presented along with application on parts fabricated with special attention to Ti6Al4V of titanium alloy material that is well recognised for manufacturing of aero-based parts. Machining is a popular post-processing method for finalising the surface finishing of a given part. However, machining for Ti6Al4V AM parts are known for certain challenges during process due to its inherent material properties and inadequacy for internal complex geometry parts. In this study, a series of other surface finishing techniques were investigated through testing and evaluation. The effectiveness of each processing technique is evaluated with respect to the surface topography in terms of Ra (arithmetical mean deviation of the profile) reduction value.

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