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Research Papers

A Computationally Efficient Finite Element Framework to Simulate Additive Manufacturing Processes

[+] Author and Article Information
Shiyan Jayanath

Department of Mechanical &
Aeronautical Engineering,
Clarkson University,
Potsdam, NY 13699
e-mail: wewalas@clarkson.edu

Ajit Achuthan

Department of Mechanical &
Aeronautical Engineering,
Clarkson University,
Potsdam, NY 13699
e-mail: aachutha@clarkson.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received October 25, 2017; final manuscript received January 6, 2018; published online February 12, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Zhijian J. Pei.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 140(4), 041009 (Feb 12, 2018) (13 pages) Paper No: MANU-17-1660; doi: 10.1115/1.4039092 History: Received October 25, 2017; Revised January 06, 2018

Macroscale finite element (FE) models, with their ability to simulate additive manufacturing (AM) processes of metal parts and accurately predict residual stress distribution, are potentially powerful design tools. However, these simulations require enormous computational cost, even for a small part only a few orders larger than the melt pool size. The existing adaptive meshing techniques to reduce computational cost substantially by selectively coarsening are not well suited for AM process simulations due to the continuous modification of model geometry as material is added to the system. To address this limitation, a new FE framework is developed. The new FE framework is based on introducing updated discretized geometries at regular intervals during the simulation process, allowing greater flexibility to control the degree of mesh coarsening than a technique based on element merging recently reported in the literature. The new framework is evaluated by simulating direct metal deposition (DMD) of a thin-walled rectangular and a thin-walled cylindrical part, and comparing the computational speed and predicted results with those predicted by simulations using the conventional framework. The comparison shows excellent agreement in the predicted stress and plastic strain fields, with substantial savings in the simulation time. The method is then validated by comparing the predicted residual elastic strain with that measured experimentally by neutron diffraction of the thin-walled rectangular part. Finally, the new framework's capability to substantially reduce the simulation time for large-scale AM parts is demonstrated by simulating a one-half foot thin-walled cylindrical part.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic illustrating the conventional framework for two-time steps

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Fig. 2

Schematic illustrating the new framework

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Fig. 3

Selective mesh coarsening scheme for small parts

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Fig. 4

FE meshes of (a) thin-walled rectangular part without selective mesh coarsening, (b) thin-walled cylindrical part without selective mesh coarsening, (c) thin-walled rectangular part with selective mesh coarsening, and (d) thin-walled cylindrical part with selective mesh coarsening

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Fig. 5

Selective mesh coarsening scheme for the large part

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Fig. 6

FE mesh of large part at last discretization step

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Fig. 7

The comparison of the variation of total DoF in the system with the addition of layers between new and conventional frameworks: (a) thin-walled rectangular part and (b) cylindrical part

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Fig. 8

The comparison of the simulation time required for each layer between new and conventional frameworks: (a) thin-walled rectangular part and (b) cylindrical part

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Fig. 9

The comparison of the residual stress distributions between simulations based on conventional and new frameworks in thin-walled rectangular plate before the removal of the build plate: (a) along the scan direction (σxx) and (b) along the build direction (σzz)

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Fig. 10

The comparison of the residual stress distributions between simulations based on conventional and new frameworks in thin-walled rectangular plate after the removal of the build plate: (a) along the scan direction (σxx) and (b) along the build direction (σzz)

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Fig. 11

The comparison of the plastic strain distributions between simulations based on conventional and new frameworks in thin-walled rectangular plate before the removal of the build plate: (a) along the scan direction (ϵxxP) and (b) along the build direction (ϵzzP)

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Fig. 12

The comparison of the residual stress distributions between simulations based on conventional and new frameworks in thin-walled cylindrical part before the removal of the build plate: (a) along the circumference (hoop) direction (σθθ) and (b) along the build direction (σzz)

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Fig. 13

The comparison of the residual stress distributions between simulations based on conventional and new frameworks in thin-walled cylindrical part after the removal of the build plate: (a) along the circumference (hoop) direction (σθθ) and (b) along the build direction (σzz)

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Fig. 14

The comparison of the plastic strain distributions between simulations based on conventional and new frameworks in thin-walled cylindrical part before the removal of the build plate: (a) along the circumference (hoop) direction (ϵθθP) and (b) along the build direction (ϵzzP)

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Fig. 15

The comparison of elastic strain (ϵezz) predicted by the new and conventional frameworks for the rectangular part after the removal of the build plate with those determined experimentally by neutron diffraction measurements. The measurements were made along paths B1, B2, and B3 as shown.

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Fig. 16

The comparison of the part distortion predicted by the new and conventional frameworks for the rectangular and cylindrical part after the removal of the build plate with those determined experimentally: (a) rectangular part and (b) cylindrical part

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Fig. 17

The comparison of the variation of total DoF in the large part with the addition of layers between new and conventional frameworks

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Fig. 18

The variation of the simulation time required for each layer in the simulation of the large part based on new framework

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Fig. 19

The distribution of the residual stress component in the build direction, σzz, predicted by the simulation based on new framework for the large part

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