The complex, multi-faceted physics of laser-based additive metals processing tends to demand high-fidelity models and costly simulation tools to provide predictions accurate enough to aid in selecting process parameters. Of particular difficulty is the accurate determination of melt pool shape and size, which are useful for predicting lack-of-fusion, as this typically requires an adequate treatment of thermal and fluid flow. In this article we describe a novel numerical simulation tool which aims to achieve a balance between accuracy and cost. This is accomplished by making simplifying assumptions regarding the behavior of the gas-liquid interface for processes with a moderate energy density, such as Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS). The details of the implementation, which is based on the solver simpleFoam of the well-known software suite OpenFOAM, are given here and the tool is verified and validated for a LENS process involving Ti-6Al-4V. The results indicate that the new tool predicts width and height of a deposited track to engineering accuracy levels.
Lasers in Manufacturing and Materials Processing – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 19, 2018