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Exposure to metal particles via the inhalation route unavoidably takes place at occupational settings during additive manufacturing of metals and alloys. This calls for investigations on possible adverse health effects. This study focuses on virgin and reused powders of three iron- and nickel-based alloy powders (316L, IN718, 18Ni300) widely used in additive manufacturing, and dust powder of 18Ni300 generated during laser melting. Investigations were performed from a physico-chemical and toxicological perspective assessing their bioaccessibility in artificial lysosomal fluid (ALF, simulating lung exposure to respirable particles), corrosion behavior, surface morphology and composition, microstructure, hydrodynamic size distribution in ALF, and in-vitro toxicity towards cultured human lung cells. Less than 1% of the powder mass was dissolved from the passive alloys (316L, IN718) under simulated physiological conditions (pH4.5, 37 °C, 24 h), whereas the 18Ni300 iron-nickel alloy showed an active behavior and dissolved completely. Reused powders of 18Ni300 and IN718 showed no, or only minor, differences in surface oxide composition, metal release pattern, and corrosion behavior compared with virgin powders. After reuse, the 316L powder showed an enrichment of manganese within the outermost surface, an increased corrosion current, increased amounts of released iron and an increased fraction of particles with ferritic microstructure, which increased the extent of particle aggregation. All powders showed low, or negligible, cytotoxic potency and reactive oxygen species formation. Powder bed fusion using laser melting can hence affect the chemical, physical, and surface properties of non-fused powders, which, if reused, could influence the properties of the printed part. Keywords: Corrosion; Metal and alloys; Microstructure; Powder processing; Rapid prototyping

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Xuying Wang, N.V. Srikanth Vallabani, Alix Giboin, Johan Lundqvist, Kim Färnlund, Hanna L. Karlsson, Yolanda S. Hedberg, Inger Odnevall, Bioaccessibility and reactivity of alloy powders used in powder bed fusion additive manufacturing, Materialia, Volume 19, 2021, 101196, ISSN 2589-1529, ( Abstract:

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