Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) is an advanced manufacturing processes for fabricating engineering components directly from CAD Model by depositing material in a layer by layer fashion using lasers. LAM is being widely deployed in various sectors such as power, aerospace, automotive etc. for fabricating complex shaped and customized components. One of the most commonly used LAM process is Directed Energy Deposition (LAM-DED) which is used for manufacturing near net shaped components with tailored microstructure, multi-materials (direct and graded) and complex geometry. This paper reports experimental investigation of LAM of Copper (Cu) tracks on Stainless Steel 304 L (SS 304L) using an indigenously developed LAM-DED system. Cu-SS304L joints find wider applications in tooling, automotive and aerospace sectors due to its combination of higher strength, thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance. However, laying Cu layers on SS304L is not trivial due to large difference in the thermo-physical properties. Thus, a comprehensive experiments using full factorial design are carried out and a number of Cu tracks were laid on SS304L substrate by varying laser power, scan speed and powder feed rate. The laid tracks are characterized for track geometry and porosity and the quality of the tracks are analyzed. Lower values of laser power and higher powder feed rate results in discontinuous deposition, while higher laser power and lower powder feed rate results in cracked deposits. Porosity is observed to vary from 6–45 % at different process conditions. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) of deposition rate and track geometry is performed to estimate the major contributing process parameters. This study paves a way to understand effect of process parameters on LAM-DED for fabricating bimetallic joints and graded structures of Copper and SS304L.

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