Processing of Nickel-Titanium shape memory alloys (NiTi) is by no means easy because all processing steps can strongly affect the properties of the material. Hence, near-net-shaping technologies are very attractive for processing NiTi due to reduction of the processing route. Additive Manufacturing (AM) provides especially promising alternatives to conventional processing because it offers unparalleled freedom of design. In the last 5 years AM of NiTi received little attention from academics and researchers and, therefore, is far from being established for processing NiTi today. This work is to highlight the current state of the art of using the AM technique Selective Laser Melting (SLM) for processing high quality NiTi parts. For this reason, fundamentals for SLM processing of NiTi are described. It is shown in detail that a careful control of process parameters is of great importance. Furthermore, this work characterizes structural and functional properties like shape recovery, referring to the shape memory effect in Ti-rich SLM NiTi, or pseudoelasticy in Ni-rich SLM NiTi. It is shown that both types of shape memory effects can be adjusted in SLM NiTi by the choice of the raw material and processing strategy. By comparing the properties of SLM NiTi to those of conventionally processed NiTi, this work clearly shows that SLM is an attractive manufacturing method for production of high quality NiTi parts.

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