Numerical and experimental study of the powder bed characteristics in the recoated bed of the additive manufacturing process
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Part of the optimization steps for additive manufacturing is related to the correct understanding of the mechanical behavior of the powder used in the process. Obtain this understanding based purely on experiments might be a difficult and sometimes prohibitive task. A particle-based numerical tool can provide critical information for correct understanding of powder deposition process. Numerical simulations through the Discrete Element Method (DEM) provide a useful mean to investigate the additive manufacturing process, given the possibility to study particle-scale information that are difficult to access experimentally. The characteristics of the recoated powder bed are investigated in the packed bed region and onto the manufactured part using PA12 commercial powder. Particle size distribution, contact and non-contact cohesive forces are incorporated in the numerical model. Furthermore, the non-spherical shape of real particles is taken explicitly into account in numerical simulations. A blade-type recoating system is used to form the powder bed and its roughness is calculated. Experimental measurements are performed by fringe projection. Several areas of the recoated powder layers can be scanned with this optical measurement method. Thus, the analyzed surface roughness can be compared with the simulated quantities to validate the numerical model. The sintered part is modelled as a prescribed rigid static region in the simulated system. The powder recoated in the sintered region may have different characteristics (packing, roughness) compared to the powder bed region. Recoating process is modelled using two different shapes for the sintered region. The amount of material recoated and the surface roughness are then calculated for the powder bed as well as for the sintered region.
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