Numerical Analysis of Molten Pool Behavior and Spatter Formation with Evaporation During Selective Laser Melting of 316L Stainless Steel


During the selective laser-melting process, material evaporation and resultant spatter are common phenomena that bring about many defects. However, the underlying physical phenomena such as molten pool behavior and spatter formation, as evaporation occurred, are sparsely understood and difficult to observe during the process. Thus, a three–dimensional powder-scale model was established to investigate the thermal and flow behavior of the molten pool, the morphology evolution of the molten pool and keyhole, and the spatter formation with evaporation in the selective laser-melting processing of 316L stainless steel. Phase transitions and variations in interfacial force were taken into account in this model. The modified phase-field method was applied to trace the melt–gas interface. The results showed that keyhole formed in molten pool under recoil pressure, and that there were some differences in the temperature distribution and flow behavior inside and outside the keyhole. In addition, the dimension and surface morphology of the molten pool and keyhole depth altered and gradually stabilized during the process. Moreover, droplet spatter formation at rear of molten pool proceeded roughly as follows: the backward ejection of melt vapor would induce a depression in molten pool and a bump on the molten pool surface, the bump moved backward and subsequently a liquid column formed, then the liquid column formed a neck and gradually pinched off, resulting in the droplet spatter. Furthermore, the characteristic morphology of the scan track and dimension of the molten pool were obtained through experiments, which showed good agreement with the simulation results.

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This work was supported by the Key Programs of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [Grant Number KGZD-EW-T0], the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant Number 11702290], the CAS “Light of West China” Program, and the Chongqing Research of Application Foundation and Advanced Technology [Grant Number cstc2016jcyjA0321].

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Correspondence to Dengfu Chen or Xuanming Duan.

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Manuscript submitted December 5, 2018.

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Tang, P., Xie, H., Wang, S. et al. Numerical Analysis of Molten Pool Behavior and Spatter Formation with Evaporation During Selective Laser Melting of 316L Stainless Steel. Metall Mater Trans B 50, 2273–2283 (2019).

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