Influence of processing parameters on the density of 316L stainless steel parts manufactured through laser powder bed fusion

João P. M. Pragana, Pedro Pombinha, Valdemar R. Duarte, Tiago A. Rodrigues, João Pedro Oliveira, Ivo M. F. Bragança, Telmo G. Santos, Rosa M. Miranda, Luísa Coutinho, Carlos M. A. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Additive manufacturing technologies are becoming more popular, as they allow the fabrication of specific parts with complex geometries not achievable by conventional manufacturing. In metal additive manufacturing, one of the most widely used technologies is laser powder bed fusion. This work focuses on the influence of different processing parameters on the density of AISI 316L stainless parts obtained through this technology. The article presents a review of published works on the deposition of AISI 316L stainless steel using laser powder bed fusion to define an optimal range of parameters to produce parts with densities above 99%, complemented by density measurements for new sets of laser powder bed fusion processing parameters within the defined optimal range. The investigation provides a further insight on the effect of operating parameters such as vector size and gas atmosphere (Nitrogen and Argon) on the part density. The density measurements were performed using two techniques: micrograph analysis and Archimedes method. Results reveal that an increase in vector size has a negative influence on part density. With the Archimedes method, a maximum relative density of 99.87% was achieved using Nitrogen atmosphere, showing that it is possible to produce near fully dense parts by laser powder bed fusion without post-processing by laser re-melting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1257
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Additive manufacturing
  • AISI 316L
  • energy density
  • gas atmosphere
  • hatch spacing
  • laser powder bed fusion
  • vector size


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