Resolution and Geometric Limitations in Laser Powder Bed Fusion Additively Manufactured GRCop-84 Structures for a Lower Hybrid Current Drive Launcher
Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF), also known as Selective Laser MeltingTM (SLMTM), allows additive manufacture of lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) Radio Frequency (RF) launchers from a new material, Glenn Research Copper 84 (GRCop-84), a Cr2Nb (8 at. % Cr, 4 at. % Nb) precipitation hardened alloy, in configurations unachievable with conventional machining. The resolution and geometric limitations are tested to explore the limitations of L-PBF printing of GRCop-84. Printing holes in the vertical and horizontal direction are examined to determine the minimum cooling channel diameter. Internal stress limits the minimum thickness of vertical walls and septa to 1 mm, thinner walls warp during printing. Roughness is minimized on vertical surfaces and increases on both upper and lower surfaces as angle increases. Accuracy within 40 μm is typical on well supported structures.