Realistic design of laser powder bed fusion channels

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Conformal cooling channels in additively manufactured molds are superior over conventional channels in terms of cooling control, part warpage and lead time. The heat transfer ability of cooling channels is determined by their geometry and surface roughness. Laser powder bed fusion manufactured channels have an inherent process-induced dross formation that may significantly alter the actual shape of nominal channels. Therefore, it is crucial to be able to predict the expected surface roughness and changes in the geometry of metal additively manufactured conformal cooling channels. The purpose of this paper is to present a new methodology for predicting the realistic design of laser powder bed fusion channels. Design/methodology/approach: This study proposes a methodology for making nominal channel design more realistic by the implementation of roughness prediction models. The models are used for altering the nominal shape of a channel to its predicted shape by point cloud analysis and manipulation. Findings: A straight channel is investigated as a simple case study and validated against X-ray computed tomography measurements. The modified channel geometry is reconstructed and meshed, resulting in a predicted, more realistic version of the nominal geometry. The methodology is successfully tested on a torus shape and a simple conformal cooling channel design. Finally, the methodology is validated through a cooling test experiment and comparison with simulations. Practical implications: Accurate prediction of channel surface roughness and geometry would lead toward more accurate modeling of cooling performance. Originality/value: A robust start to finish method for realistic geometrical prediction of metal additive manufacturing cooling channels has yet to be proposed. The current study seeks to fill the gap.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRapid Prototyping Journal
ISSN1355-2546
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Conformal cooling channels
  • Design for additive manufacturing
  • Laser powder bed fusion
  • Performance modeling
  • Point cloud manipulation

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