Influence of Powder Bed Characteristics on Material Quality in Additive Manufacturing
In powder bed based Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes like Selective Laser Melting (SLM) or Electron Beam Melting (EBM), the spatial distribution of the individual powder particles is typically unknown. Nevertheless, the distribution of particles in the heat affected zone defines the thermophysical properties of the region being processed by the heat source and therefore plays a crucial role in heat transfer processes. In this work, the spatial distribution of individual particles and their influence on the AM process is numerically investigated. Two powder bed configurations are compared: One powder bed is generated using the discrete element method (DEM) to model the coating process; the second powder bed is arranged in the BCC structure. The melting and solidification of both configurations are modelled. The predicted melt pool dimensions are compared with experimentally determined values. The results indicate thatmodelling the coating process is necessary to ensure accurate modelling of the heat source powder bed interaction as well as an accurate prediction of the melt pool characteristics.