Research Papers

Three-Dimensional Temperature Gradient Mechanism in Selective Laser Melting of Ti-6Al-4V

[+] Author and Article Information
C. H. Fu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Alabama,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Y. B. Guo

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Alabama,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
e-mail: yguo@eng.ua.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received March 20, 2014; final manuscript received September 3, 2014; published online October 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Darrell Wallace.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 136(6), 061004 (Oct 24, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: MANU-14-1127; doi: 10.1115/1.4028539 History: Received March 20, 2014; Revised September 03, 2014

Selective laser melting (SLM) is widely used in making three-dimensional functional parts layer by layer. Temperature magnitude and history during SLM directly determine the molten pool dimensions and surface integrity. However, due to the transient nature and small size of the molten pool, the temperature gradient and the molten pool size are challenging to measure and control. A three-dimensional finite element (FE) simulation model has been developed to simulate multilayer deposition of Ti-6Al-4 V in SLM. A physics-based layer buildup approach coupled with a surface moving heat flux was incorporated into the modeling process. The melting pool shape and dimensions were predicted and experimentally validated. Temperature gradient and thermal history in the multilayer buildup process was also obtained. Furthermore, the influences of process parameters and materials on the melting process were evaluated.

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Fig. 1

(a) SLM experimental setup and (b) process principle

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Fig. 2

Simulation schematic of SLM

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Fig. 3

Heat flux magnitude for four simulation cases

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Fig. 4

(a) Representative temperature contour and (b) molten pool geometry

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Fig. 5

Effect of laser power on melting depth

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Fig. 6

Effect of laser power on melting width

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Fig. 7

Effect of laser power on melting length

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Fig. 8

Effect of laser power on molten pool volume

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Fig. 9

Temperature gradient in layer depth direction

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Fig. 10

Temperature gradient in layer width direction

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Fig. 11

Temperature gradient in laser scanning direction

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Fig. 12

Temperature history of center point on layer top in first scan



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