Correlative spatter and vapour depression dynamics during laser powder bed fusion of an AlFe-Zr alloy

  • Spatter during laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) can induce surface defects, impacting the fatigue performance of the fabricated components. Here, we reveal and explain the links between vapour depression shape and spatter dynamics during LPBF of an Al-Fe-Zr aluminium alloy using high-speed synchrotron x-ray imaging. We quantify the number, trajectory angle, velocity, and kinetic energy of the spatter as a function of vapour depression zone/keyhole morphology under industry-relevant processing conditions. The depression zone/keyhole morphology was found to influence the spatter ejection angle in keyhole versus conduction melting modes: (i) the vapour-pressure driven plume in conduction mode with a quasi-semi-circular depression zone leads to backward spatter whereas; and (ii) the keyhole rear wall redirects the gas/vapour flow to cause vertical spatter ejection and rear rim droplet spatter. Increasing the opening of the keyhole or vapour depression zone can reduce entrainment of solid spatter. We discover a spatter-induced cavity mechanism in which small spatter particles are accelerated towards the powder bed after laser-spatter interaction, inducing powder denudation and cavities on the printed surface. By quantifying these laser-spatter interactions, we suggest a printing strategy for minimising defects and improving the surface quality of LPBF parts.
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Da Guo, Rubén Lambert-Garcia, Samy Hocine, Xianqiang Fan, Henry Greenhalgh, Ravi Shahani, Marta Majkut, Alexander Rack, Peter D Lee, Chu Lun Alex Leung. Correlative spatter and vapour depression dynamics during laser powder bed fusion of an AlFe-Zr alloy[J]. International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing, 2024, 6(5): 055601. DOI: 10.1088/2631-7990/ad4e1d
Da Guo, Rubén Lambert-Garcia, Samy Hocine, Xianqiang Fan, Henry Greenhalgh, Ravi Shahani, Marta Majkut, Alexander Rack, Peter D Lee, Chu Lun Alex Leung. Correlative spatter and vapour depression dynamics during laser powder bed fusion of an AlFe-Zr alloy[J]. International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing, 2024, 6(5): 055601. DOI: 10.1088/2631-7990/ad4e1d

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