Control of Powder Flow Rate in Laser Metal Deposition Process


Precise regulation of powder flow in laser based manufacturing processes is critical to achieving excellent part quality. Control of powder flow in laser based manufacturing processes is challenging since low flow rates, where nonlinear effects are significant, are typically required. Also, gravity fed powder feeder systems have significant transport delays, making the control of powder flow even more challenging. This paper presents a control strategy for regulating the powder flow rate in a gravity fed powder feeder system. A dynamic model of the powder feeder system, including transport delay, is constructed and a digital proportional plus integral controller is designed. An observer is used to estimate powder flow rate using the powder feeder motor encoder signal. The control strategy is implemented in a Smith Predictor Corrector Structure to account for the material transport delay. Simulation and experimental results validate the controller.

Meeting Name

2004 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2004 (2004: Nov. 13-19, Anaheim, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Control; Delay; Powder Mass Flow

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2004 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

19 Nov 2004

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