Parametric Finite Elements Model of SLM Additive Manufacturing process

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Abstract

An obstacle to the diffusion of additive technology is the difficulty of predicting the residual stresses introduced during the fabrication process. This problem has a considerable practical interest as evidenced by the abundant literature on residual stresses and distortion induced by the SLM (Selective Laser Melting) and EBAM (Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing). The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of different process parameters on the heat distribution and residual stresses in components made with SLM technique. Three aspects are developed and illustrated: a) thermomechanical modeling of the growth process, based on Finite Elements (FE), which considers changes in the behavior of the material (powder→liquid→solid) through the finite element "birth" and "death" technique that enables the progressive activation of the elements as the component grows; b) sensitivity analysis of the model to the physical characteristics of the material (conductivity, specific heat capacity, Young's modulus). This is an important aspect allowing to focus on the most significant parameters to be determined experimentally with high reliability; c) evaluation of the effects of different process parameters (laser power, scan speed, overlap between adjacent paths) on the process. The article illustrates the theoretical thermal model and the detail of the strategy used in the FE analysis. The most influential characteristics of the material are highlighted and, finally, general criteria for choosing the optimal combination of process parameters to limit the residual stresses are provided.

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Conti, P., Cianetti, F., & Pilerci, P. (2018). Parametric Finite Elements Model of SLM Additive Manufacturing process. In Procedia Structural Integrity (Vol. 8, pp. 410–421). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prostr.2017.12.041

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