Impacts of the Additive Manufacturing Process on the Roughness of Engine Scale Vanes and Cooling Channels

Alexander J. Wildgoose, Karen A. Thole, Ramesh Subramanian, Lisa Kersting, Anand Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


By leveraging the additive manufacturing (AM) platform, development time and costs for turbine component testing can be reduced relative to traditional investment casting. Surface roughness is a key characteristic of the additive manufacturing process that can impact flow, heat transfer, and mechanical integrity of printed components. There are multiple design and build considerations that result in variability in surface roughness, especially when additively fabricating complicated three-dimensional vanes and internal cooling passages. This study characterizes the surface roughness of internal cooling passages, vanes, and flat external surface samples made using additive manufacturing, specifically the direct metal laser sintering process. The samples were manufactured with various wall thicknesses, layer thicknesses, build locations, build directions, and on different AM machines. A combination of computed tomography scanning and optical profilometry was used to evaluate surface roughness levels. The data indicate that the dominant factors in roughness for a given layer thickness are a function of wall thickness, build location, and build direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041013
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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