Presentation: UPV/EHV-AUT Collaborative Research on Metal 3D Printing

UPV/EHV-AUT Collaborative Research on Metal 3D Printing

 By:  Dr. Teresa Guraya, Faculty of Engineering, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain

Date: 15 Feb 2018 (Thursday)

Time: 12 noon to 1 pm

Location: Room WZ141, 34 St Paul Street, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland


Motivated by research interest and financially supported by the EU, I am spending a year in NZ conducting a project “Selective Laser Melting (SLM) fabrication of Ni based alloys: effect of processing conditions on the microstructure and quality of the built parts”. I am doing this research with Prof. Zhan Chen and Associate Prof. Sarat Singamneni here at AUT.

Before getting into project details, in this presentation, I will first introduce the place where I come from, the Basque Country, a small region in the northern of Spain with a wealthy economy based on a net of big and small and medium industrial companies that have been pushed to move on from the traditional sectors to Industry 4.0 in the last decades. The policies of the Basque Government have made this transition possible, offering to academics and companies different instruments to work together under the framework “Basque System for Research and Technology”. One of the members of the System is the University of the Basque Country, the public institution where I teach papers on Materials Science in the Faculty of Engineering in Bilbao and lead a small research group working on Materials Engineering (eMERG).


(Research at AUT) Inconel 738 LC is a nickel-based superalloy offering exceptional mechanical properties and corrosion resistance at high temperatures. The alloy (In 738) is most commonly used for gas turbine blades and vanes for industrial use because its properties does not deteriorate in the hot and corrosive environments in turbine operating condition. Traditionally In 738 parts are produced by casting but the emerging additive (3D printing) technologies open new expectations to design parts with inner refrigeration channels for example that would allow working at high temperatures. However, at this point of time, poor weldability of In 738 has appeared as the main problem in additive manufacturing (of which SLM is a major form). Finding process conditions to fabricate sound parts free of cracks and other defects and suitable microstructure requires a better understanding of the rapid solidification process that occurs during SLM. Solidified microstructure depends on the temperature gradient in the solid-liquid interface, on the solidification rate and on the cooling rate, variables that cannot be directly measured during the building process. Then, all the features present in the microstructure must be carefully analyzed and related to process conditions (power, scan speed, layer thickness, hatch distance, scan strategy) and all together used to find out new pieces of knowledge to physical/metallurgical events that are taking place during SLM. Progress on this study of SLM process-micro/macrostructure relationship will be presented in this presentation.



Dr. Teresa Guraya is an assistant professor with the Faculty of Engineering, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain. Her research interests include physical metallurgy of alloys, new alloys and processes and new techniques for microstructural characterization. Dr. Guraya leads the research group eMERG (, is PI in numerous projects and has published numerous research papers.