Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1414: Numerical-Experimental Study of the Consolidation Phenomenon in the Selective Laser Melting Process with a Thermo-Fluidic Coupled Model Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081414 Authors: Francisco Cordovilla Ángel García-Beltrán Miguel Garzón Diego A. Muñoz José L. Ocaña One of the main limiting factors for a widespread industrial use of the Selective Laser Melting Process it its lack of productivity, which restricts the use of this technology just for high added-value components. Typically, the thickness of the metallic powder that is used lies on the scale of micrometers. The use of a layer up to one millimeter would be necessarily associated to a dramatic increase of productivity. Nevertheless, when the layer thickness increases, the complexity of consolidation phenomena makes the process difficult to be governed. The present work proposes a 3D finite element thermo-coupled model to study the evolution from the metallic powder to the final consolidated material, analyzing specifically the movements and loads of the melt pool, and defining the behavior of some critical thermophysical properties as a function of temperature and the phase of the material. This model uses advanced numerical tools such as the Arbitrary Lagrangean&ndash;Eulerian formulation and the Automatic Remeshing technique. A series of experiments have been carried out, using a high thickness powder layer, allowing for a deeper understanding of the consolidation phenomena and providing a reference to compare the results of the numerical calculations.
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