In this study, thermo-mechanical simulation was conducted to predict thermal and stress behavior in Selective Laser Melting (SLM). Temperature-dependent material properties for processed material 304L stainless steel were incorporated into the model in order to capture the change from powder to fully dense solid stainless steel. Temperature and thermal stress history were tracked under conditions of different parameter sets which were designed to reduce defect formation. The thermal model predicted the temperature history for multi-track scans under different process parameters, such as laser power, effective scanning speed and hatch spacing. Subsequently, the corresponding melt-pool size, solidification rate and temperature gradients could be calculated from simulated temperature data. These three parameters from the simulation were compared with experimental melt pool size, grain structure and cell spacing data obtained from a Renishaw AM250. The experimental data were also used to determine unknown simulation parameters required by the continuum model, e.g., the optical penetration depth and thermal conductivity multiplier for the molten region. This allowed the simulation model to accurately predict melt pool size and solidification structure of SLM 304L stainless steel. Simulated stress showed that the subsequent thermal cyclic melting in successive scanned tracks resulted in alternating compressive and tensile thermal stresses. This work will provide insight for studying microstructure morphology, residual stress and deformations in the SLM process of 304L stainless steel.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Melt-pool size; Process parameters; Selective laser melting (SLM); Solidification structure; Thermal stresses; Thermo-mechanical analysis

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2021 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2021