Additive manufacturing processes allow the production of geometrically complex lightweight structures with specific material properties. However, by contrast with ingot metallurgy methods, the manufacture of components using this process also brings about some challenges. In the field of microstructural characterization, where mostly very fine structures are analyzed, it is thus indispensable to optimize the classic sample preparation process and to furthermore implement additional preparation steps. This work focuses on the metallography of additively manufactured Ti‑6Al‑4V components produced in a selective laser melting process. It offers a guideline for the metallographic preparation along the process chain of additive manufacturing from the metal powder characterization to the macro- and microstructural analysis of the laser melted sample. Apart from developing preparation parameters, selected etching methods were examined with regard to their practicality.
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