Topographic Measurement of Individual Laser Tracks in Alloy 625 Bare Plates

  • Richard E. RickerEmail author
  • Jarred C. Heigel
  • Brandon M. Lane
  • Ivan Zhirnov
  • Lyle E. Levine
Thematic Section: Additive Manufacturing Benchmarks 2018
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Additive Manufacturing Benchmarks 2018


Additive manufacturing (AM) combines all of the complexities of materials processing and manufacturing into a single process. The digital revolution made this combination possible, but the commercial viability of these technologies for critical parts may depend on digital process simulations to guide process development, product design, and part qualification. For laser powder bed fusion, one must be able to model the behavior of a melt pool produced by a laser moving at a constant velocity over a smooth bare metal surface before taking on the additional complexities of this process. To provide data on this behavior for model evaluations, samples of a single-phase nickel-based alloy were polished smooth and exposed to a laser beam at three different power and speed settings in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Additive Manufacturing Metrology Testbed and a commercial AM machine. The solidified track remaining in the metal surface after the passing of the laser is a physical record of the position of the air–liquid–solid interface of the melt pool trailing behind the laser. The surface topography of these tracks was measured and quantified using confocal laser scanning microscopy for use as benchmarks in AM model development and validation. These measurements are part of the Additive Manufacturing Benchmark Test Series.


Additive manufacturing Metals Nickel-based superalloys Topography data Laser melt pool Welding 



This research was supported in part by the Exascale Computing Project (17-SC-20-SC), a collaborative effort of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection  2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Measurement LaboratoryNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  2. 2.Engineering LaboratoryNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  3. 3.Third Wave SystemsMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Physical Measurement LaboratoryNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

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