Thermal modeling in metal additive manufacturing using graph theory – Application to laser powder bed fusion of a large volume impeller

Reza Yavari, Richard Williams, Alex Riensche, Paul A. Hooper, Kevin D. Cole, Lars Jacquemetton, Harold (Scott) Halliday, Prahalada Krishna Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite its potential to overcome the design and processing barriers of traditional subtractive and formative manufacturing techniques, the use of laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) metal additive manufacturing is currently limited due to its tendency to create flaws. A multitude of LPBF-related flaws, such as part-level deformation, cracking, and porosity are linked to the spatiotemporal temperature distribution in the part during the process. The temperature distribution, also called the thermal history, is a function of several factors encompassing material properties, part geometry and orientation, processing parameters, placement of supports, among others. These broad range of factors are difficult and expensive to optimize through empirical testing alone. Consequently, fast and accurate models to predict the thermal history are valuable for mitigating flaw formation in LPBF-processed parts. In our prior works, we developed a graph theory-based approach for predicting the temperature distribution in LPBF parts. This mesh-free approach was compared with both non-proprietary and commercial finite element packages, and the thermal history predictions were experimentally validated with in-situ infrared thermal imaging data. It was found that the graph theory-derived thermal history predictions converged within 30–50% of the time of non-proprietary finite element analysis for a similar level of prediction error. However, these prior efforts were based on small prismatic and cylinder-shaped LPBF parts. In this paper, our objective was to scale the graph theory approach to predict the thermal history of large volume, complex geometry LPBF parts. To realize this objective, we developed and applied three computational strategies to predict the thermal history of a stainless steel (SAE 316L) impeller having outside diameter 155 mm and vertical height 35 mm (700 layers). The impeller was processed on a Renishaw AM250 LPBF system and required 16 h to complete. During the process, in-situ layer-by-layer steady state surface temperature measurements for the impeller were obtained using a calibrated longwave infrared thermal camera. As an example of the outcome, on implementing one of the three strategies reported in this work, which did not reduce or simplify the part geometry, the thermal history of the impeller was predicted with approximate mean absolute error of 6% (standard deviation 0.8%) and root mean square error 23 K (standard deviation 3.7 K). Moreover, the thermal history was simulated within 40 min using desktop computing, which is considerably less than the 16 h required to build the impeller part. Furthermore, the graph theory thermal history predictions were compared with a proprietary LPBF thermal modeling software and non-proprietary finite element simulation. For a similar level of root mean square error (28 K), the graph theory approach converged in 17 min, vs. 4.5 h for non-proprietary finite element analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101956
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Graph theory
  • Large volume parts
  • Mesh-free simulation
  • Metal additive manufacturing
  • Thermal history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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