Is the energy density a reliable parameter for materials synthesis by selective laser melting?
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The effective fabrication of materials using selective laser melting depends on the process parameters. Here, we analyse the suitability of the energy density to represent the energy transferred to the powder bed, which is effectively used to melt the particles and to produce the bulk specimens. By properly varying laser power and speed in order to process the powder at constant energy density, we show that the equation currently used to calculate the energy density gives only an approximate estimation and that hatch parameters and material properties should be considered to correctly evaluate the energy density.