The use of gas-atomized powder as the feedstock material for the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process is common in the additive manufacturing (AM) community. Although gas-atomization produces powder with high sphericity, its relatively expensive production cost is a downside for application in AM processes. Water atomization of powder may overcome this limitation due to its low-cost relative to the gas-atomization process. In this work, gas- and water-atomized 304L stainless steel powders were morphologically characterized through scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The water-atomized powder had a wider particle size distribution and exhibited less sphericity. Measuring powder flowability using the Revolution Powder Analyzer (RPA) indicated that the water-atomized powder had less flowability than the gas-atomized powder. Through examining the mechanical properties of LPBF fabricated parts using tensile tests, the gas-atomized powder had significantly higher yield tensile strength and elongation than the water-atomized powder; however, their ultimate tensile strengths were not significantly different.


Materials Science and Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


U.S. Department of Energy, Grant DE-NA0002839

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1543-1851; 1047-4838

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2023 Springer; Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2022