Abstract: In metal powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing such as selective laser melting (SLM), the variability in powder feedstock strongly influences the process performance and part quality. In this study, a 3D thermo-fluid model using the Volume of Fluid approach with powder particles incorporated was developed using ANSYS/FLUENT. A sequential addition-packing algorithm was utilized to generate randomly distributed particles in a powder bed. Temperature dependent material properties were specified and the laser beam scanning was modeled as a moving volumetric heat source. As a result of continuous melting and solidification, the temperature distribution, the melt flow and the deformed build surface can be obtained. The developed model was utilized to study the effect of the particle size, the size distribution and the packing density on the SLM thermal response and the build surface roughness.
Authors: Subin Shrestha and Kevin Chou
Keywords: Random Powder Distribution, Thermo-Fluid Simulation, Surface Morphology