Transient Dynamics of Powder Spattering in Laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing Process Revealed by In-Situ High-Speed High-Energy X-Ray Imaging


Powder spattering is a major cause of defect formation and quality uncertainty in the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing (AM) process. It is very difficult to investigate this with either conventional characterization tools or modeling and simulation. The detailed dynamics of powder spattering in the LPBF process is still not fully understood. Here, we report insights into the transient dynamics of powder spattering in the LPBF process that was observed with in-situ high-speed high-energy x-ray imaging. Powder motion dynamics, as a function of time, environment pressure, and location, is presented. The moving speed, acceleration, and driving force of powder motion that are induced by metal vapor jet/plume and argon gas flow are quantified. A schematic map showing the dynamics and mechanisms of powder motion during the LPBF process as functions of time and pressure is constructed. Potential ways to mitigate powder spattering during the LPBF process are discussed and proposed, based on the revealed powder motion dynamics and mechanisms.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


This work is funded by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies (FM & T), University of Missouri Research Board (UMRB), Intelligent Systems Center at Missouri S & T, National Science Foundation, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) funding from Argonne National Laboratory, provided by the Director, Office of Science, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. This publication has been authored by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies under Contract No. DE- NA0002839 with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Keywords and Phrases

3D printers; Flow of gases; Image processing; X ray analysis; Additive manufacturing process; Characterization tools; Environment pressure; High speed imaging; Model and simulation; Powder bed; Spatter; Synchrotron x rays; Powder metals; Additive manufacturing; High-speed imaging; Powder bed fusion; Synchrotron x-ray

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2018 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2018