Process Evaluation of AISI 4340 Steel Manufactured by Laser Powder Bed Fusion

Elias Jelis, Michael R. Hespos, Nuggehalli M. Ravindra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) involves the consolidation of metal powder, layer by layer, through laser melting and solidification. In this study, process parameters are optimized for AISI 4340 steel to produce dense and homogeneous structures. The optimized process parameters produce mechanical properties at the center of the build plate that are comparable to wrought in the vertical and horizontal orientations after heat treatment and machining. Four subsequent builds are filled with specimens to evaluate the mechanical behavior as a function of location and orientation. Variations in the mechanical properties are likely due to recoater blade interactions with the powder and uneven gas flow. The results obtained in this study are analyzed to assess the reliability and reproducibility of the process. A different build evaluates the performance of near-net-shaped tensile specimens angled 35°-90° from the build plate surface (horizontal). Ductility measurements and surface roughness vary significantly as a function of the build angle. In the stress-relieved and as-built conditions, the mechanical behavior of vertically oriented specimens exhibits somewhat lower and more variable ductility than horizontally oriented specimens. Therefore, several process variables affect the mechanical properties of parts produced by the L-PBF process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Engineering and Performance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • 4340 steel
  • DMLS
  • additive manufacturing
  • laser melting and solidification


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