Producing components using metal additive manufacturing processes, such as powder bed fusion, presents manufacturing and measurement challenges, but also significant opportunities. The as-built surface may include overhanging (re-entrant) features not intentionally included in the design, but that aid in component functionality. In addition, the additive manufacturing process presents opportunities to design and manufacture re-entrant features intentionally. Re-entrant features increase the specific surface area and, in addition, produce mechanical locking to the surface. These re-entrant features may be intended to improve surface performance in areas such as biological cell attachment, coating adhesion, electrical capacitance and battery plate design, fluid flow and material cooling. Re-entrant features may prove difficult or impossible to measure and characterise using conventional line-of-sight surface metrology instrumentation, however the correct measurement of these surfaces may be vital for functional optimisation. X-ray computed tomography does have the ability to image internal and re-entrant features. This paper reports on the measurement of re-entrant features using X-ray computed tomography and the extraction of actual surface area information (including re-entrant surfaces) from sample additively manufactured surfaces. A proposed new surface texture parameter, Sdrprime , is discussed. This parameter is applicable to true 3D data, including re-entrant features, and is intended to relate directly to the component surface functional performance. The errors produced when using line-of-sight instruments and height map parameter generation per ISO 25178-2 to evaluate surfaces that include re-entrant features are discussed. Measurement results for electron beam melting and selective laser melting additively manufactured components, together with simulated structured surfaces, are presented.
Townsend, A., Pagani, L., Scott, P., & Blunt, L. (2019). Introduction of a Surface Characterization Parameter Sdrprime for Analysis of Re-entrant Features. Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation, 38(2), 1-10. . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10921-019-0573-x