Poor surface finish is a primary challenge to the commercial implementation of Additive Manufacturing (AM). To solve this problem, various Material Removal Rate (MRR) processes have been proposed. However, current methods provide sub-optimal outcomes for the complex geometry enabled by AM. Abrasive Centrifugal Barrel Finishing (ACBF) and Wet Abrasive Centrifugal Barrel Finishing (WACBF) can provide an effective surface finishing solution method that is compatible with the geometric complexity of AM components. ACBF and WACBF are commercially robust processes that can economically process multiple components to polish cavities and intricate internal geometry. This research documents the experimental application of WACBF to polish Stainless Steel (SS) 316 L, printed by Laser-Based Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF). The performance of WACBF on volumetric MRR is also examined. To assess the homogeneity of the abrasive process, surface roughness was quantified in directions parallel, vertical and at 45° to the laser scan direction. A Taguchi L8 experiment was devised with three repetitions to assess the influence of WACBF parameters including rotational speed, media size and running time on the measured surface roughness and material removal rate. This experiment confirms that surface roughness and MRR have a non-linear correlation with increasing the rotational speed, and that enhanced surface roughness is achieved with larger media size. An important observation for commercial implementation is that increasing the time of the process provides an insignificant reduction in surface quality, and MRR implying that for commercial applications, high-throughput can be achieved without compromising quality. These experiments confirm that WACBF processing improved the surface roughness for parallel, vertical and 45° surfaces by 62.30 %, 56.33 %, and 56.08 % respectively.
- Additive manufacturing
- Selective laser melting
- Surface roughness
- Abrasive centrifugal barrel finishing