Thermal Behavior and Geometry Model of Melt Pool in Laser Material Process


Melt pool geometry and thermal behavior control are essential in obtaining consistent building performances, such as geometrical accuracy, microstructure, and residual stress. In this paper, a three dimensional model is developed to predict the thermal behavior and geometry of the melt pool in the laser material interaction process. The evolution of the melt pool and effects of the process parameters are investigated through the simulations with stationary and moving laser beam cases. The roles of the convection and surface deformation on the heat dissipation and melt pool geometry are revealed by dimensionless analysis. The melt pool shape and fluid flow are considerably affected by interfacial forces such as thermocapillary force, surface tension, and recoil vapor pressure. Quantitative comparison of interfacial forces indicates that recoil vapor pressure is dominant under the melt pool center while thermocapillary force and surface tension are more important at the periphery of the melt pool. For verification purposes, the complementary metal oxide semiconductor camera has been utilized to acquire the melt pool image online and the melt pool geometries are measured by cross sectioning the samples obtained at various process conditions. Comparison of the experimental data and model prediction shows a good agreement.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)
U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command

Keywords and Phrases

Convection; Free Surface; Laser Processing; Melt Pool

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005