Experimental Validation of a Laser Heat Source Model for Laser Melting and Laser Cladding Processes
W. C. Tseng, J. N. Aoh*
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2014
First Page: 370
Last Page: 381
Publisher Id: TOMEJ-8-370
Article History:Received Date: 07/06/2014
Revision Received Date: 08/07/2014
Acceptance Date: 08/07/2014
Electronic publication date: 09/10/2014
Collection year: 2014
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Selective laser melting (SLM) and laser cladding are laser additive manufacturing methods that have been developed for application to the near-net-shape process and 3D printing. The temperature distributions and track profiles of SLM and clad layers require additional in-depth investigation to optimize manufacturing processes. This research involved developing a tailored laser heat source model that contains a comprehensive selection of laser beam characteristics and can be used in finite element analysis of the laser melting process. This paper presents a systematic experimental validation of the applicability of the proposed laser heat source model to single-track Nd:YAG and CO2 laser melting simulations. The evolution of the melt pool isotherms and the variation in track profiles caused by adjusting the laser power and scanning speed were numerically predicted and experimentally verified. Appropriate process parameters and the threshold power for continuous track layer formation were determined. The balling phenomenon on preplaced powder was observed at power levels below the threshold values. Nd:YAG laser melting resulted in a wide and shallow track profile, which was adequately predicted using the numerical simulation. CO2 laser melting resulted in a triangular track profile, which deviated slightly from the finite element prediction. The results indicated a high level of consistency between the experimental and the numerical results regarding track depth evolution, whereas the numerically predicted track width evolution deviated slightly from the experimentally determined track width evolution. This parametric laser melting study validated the applicability of the proposed laser heat source model in numerical analysis of laser melting processes such as SLM and laser cladding.