Influences of the Powder Size and Process Parameters on the Quasi-Stability of Molten Pool Shape in Powder Bed Fusion-Laser Beam of Molybdenum

Influences of the Powder Size and Process Parameters on the Quasi-Stability of Molten Pool Shape in Powder Bed Fusion-Laser Beam of Molybdenum

몰리브덴 분말층 융합-레이저 빔의 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성에 대한 분말 크기 및 공정 매개변수의 영향

Abstract

Formation of a quasi-steady molten pool is one of the necessary conditions for achieving excellent quality in many laser processes. The influences of distribution characteristics of powder sizes on quasi-stability of the molten pool shape during single-track powder bed fusion-laser beam (PBF-LB) of molybdenum and the underlying mechanism were investigated.

The feasibility of improving quasi-stability of the molten pool shape by increasing the laser energy conduction effect and preheating was explored. Results show that an increase in the range of powder sizes does not significantly influence the average laser energy conduction effect in PBF-LB process. Whereas, it intensifies fluctuations of the transient laser energy conduction effect.

It also leads to fluctuations of the replenishment rate of metals, difficulty in formation of the quasi-steady molten pool, and increased probability of incomplete fusion and pores defects. As the laser power rises, the laser energy conduction effect increases, which improves the quasi-stability of the molten pool shape. When increasing the laser scanning speed, the laser energy conduction effect grows.

However, because the molten pool size reduces due to the decreased heat input, the replenishment rate of metals of the molten pool fluctuates more obviously and the quasi-stability of the molten pool shape gets worse. On the whole, the laser energy conduction effect in the PBF-LB process of Mo is low (20-40%). The main factor that affects quasi-stability of the molten pool shape is the amount of energy input per unit length of the scanning path, rather than the laser energy conduction effect.

Moreover, substrate preheating can not only enlarge the molten pool size, particularly the length, but also reduce non-uniformity and discontinuity of surface morphologies of clad metals and inhibit incomplete fusion and pores defects.

준안정 용융 풀의 형성은 많은 레이저 공정에서 우수한 품질을 달성하는 데 필요한 조건 중 하나입니다. 몰리브덴의 단일 트랙 분말층 융합 레이저 빔(PBF-LB) 동안 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성에 대한 분말 크기 분포 특성의 영향과 그 기본 메커니즘을 조사했습니다.

레이저 에너지 전도 효과와 예열을 증가시켜 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성을 향상시키는 타당성을 조사했습니다. 결과는 분말 크기 범위의 증가가 PBF-LB 공정의 평균 레이저 에너지 전도 효과에 큰 영향을 미치지 않음을 보여줍니다. 반면, 과도 레이저 에너지 전도 효과의 변동이 강화됩니다.

이는 또한 금속 보충 속도의 변동, 준안정 용융 풀 형성의 어려움, 불완전 융합 및 기공 결함 가능성 증가로 이어집니다. 레이저 출력이 증가함에 따라 레이저 에너지 전도 효과가 증가하여 용융 풀 모양의 준 안정성이 향상됩니다. 레이저 스캐닝 속도를 높이면 레이저 에너지 전도 효과가 커집니다.

그러나 열 입력 감소로 인해 용융 풀 크기가 줄어들기 때문에 용융 풀의 금속 보충 속도의 변동이 더욱 뚜렷해지고 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성이 악화됩니다.

전체적으로 Mo의 PBF-LB 공정에서 레이저 에너지 전도 효과는 낮다(20~40%). 용융 풀 형상의 준안정성에 영향을 미치는 주요 요인은 레이저 에너지 전도 효과보다는 스캐닝 경로의 단위 길이당 입력되는 에너지의 양입니다.

또한 기판 예열은 용융 풀 크기, 특히 길이를 확대할 수 있을 뿐만 아니라 클래드 금속 표면 형태의 불균일성과 불연속성을 줄이고 불완전한 융합 및 기공 결함을 억제합니다.

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Fig. 3. (a–c) Snapshots of the CtFD simulation of laser-beam irradiation: (a) Top, (b) longitudinal vertical cross-sectional, and (c) transversal vertical cross-sectional views. (d) z-position of the solid/liquid interface during melting and solidification.

Solute segregation in a rapidly solidified Hastelloy-X Ni-based superalloy during laser powder bed fusion investigated by phase-field simulations and computational thermal-fluid dynamics

Masayuki Okugawa ab, Kenji Saito a, Haruki Yoshima a, Katsuhiko Sawaizumi a, Sukeharu Nomoto c, Makoto Watanabe c, Takayoshi Nakano ab, Yuichiro Koizumi abShow moreAdd to MendeleyShareCite

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2024.104079

Get rights and content Under a Creative Commons license open access

Abstract

Solute segregation significantly affects material properties and is a critical issue in the laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing (AM) of Ni-based superalloys. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate a computational thermal-fluid dynamics (CtFD) simulation coupled multi-phase-field (MPF) simulation with a multicomponent-composition model of Ni-based superalloy to predict solute segregation under solidification conditions in LPBF. The MPF simulation of the Hastelloy-X superalloy reproduced the experimentally observed submicron-sized cell structure. Significant solute segregations were formed within interdendritic regions during solidification at high cooling rates of up to 10K s-1, a characteristic feature of LPBF. Solute segregation caused a decrease in the solidus temperature (TS), with a reduction of up to 30.4 K, which increases the risk of liquation cracks during LPBF. In addition, the segregation triggers the formation of carbide phases, which increases the susceptibility to ductility dip cracking. Conversely, we found that the decrease in TS is suppressed at the melt-pool boundary regions, where re-remelting occurs during the stacking of the layer above. Controlling the re-remelting behavior is deemed to be crucial for designing crack-free alloys. Thus, we demonstrated that solute segregation at the various interfacial regions of Ni-based multicomponent alloys can be predicted by the conventional MPF simulation. The design of crack-free Ni-based superalloys can be expedited by MPF simulations of a broad range of element combinations and their concentrations in multicomponent Ni-based superalloys.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Laser powder-bed fusion, Hastelloy-X Nickel-based superalloy, solute element segregation, computational thermal-fluid dynamics simulation, phase-field method

1. Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have attracted considerable attention as they allow us to easily build three-dimensional (3D) parts with complex geometries. Among the wide range of available AM techniques, laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) has emerged as a preferred technique for metal AM [1][2][3][4][5]. In LPBF, metal products are built layer-by-layer by scanning laser, which fuse metal powder particles into bulk solids.

Significant attempts have been made to integrate LPBF techniques within the aerospace industry, with a particular focus on weldable Ni-based superalloys, such as IN718 [6][7][8], IN625 [9][10], and Hastelloy-X (HX) [11][12][13][14]. Non-weldable alloys, such as IN738LC [15][16] and CMSX-4 [1][17] are also suitable for their sufficient creep resistance under higher temperature conditions. However, non-weldable alloys are difficult to build using LPBF because of their susceptibility to cracking during the process. In general, a macro solute-segregation during solidification is suppressed by the rapid cooling conditions (up to 108 K s-1) unique to the LPBF process [18]. However, the solute segregation still occurs in the interdendritic regions that are smaller than the micrometer scale [5][19][20][21]; these regions are suggested to be related to the hot cracks in LPBF-fabricated parts. Therefore, an understanding of solute segregation is essential for the fabrication of reliable LPBF-fabricated parts while avoiding cracks.

The multiphase-field (MPF) method has gained popularity for modeling the microstructure evolution and solute segregation under rapid cooling conditions [5][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]. Moreover, quantifiable predictions have been achieved by combining the MPF method with temperature distribution analysis methods such as the finite-element method (FEM) [20] and computational thermal-fluid dynamics (CtFD) simulations [28]. These aforementioned studies have used binary-approximated multicomponent systems, such as Ni–Nb binary alloys, to simulate IN718 alloys. While MPF simulations using binary alloy systems can effectively reproduce microstructure formations and segregation behaviors, the binary approximation might be affected by the chemical interactions between the removed solute elements in the target multicomponent alloy. The limit of absolute stability predicted by the Mullins-Sekerka theory [29] is also crucial because the limit velocity is close to the solidification rate in the LPBF process and is different in multicomponent and binary-approximated systems. The difference between the solidus and liquidus temperatures, ΔT0, directly determines the absolute stability according to the Mullins-Sekerka theory. For example, the ΔT0 values of IN718 and its binary-approximated Ni–5 wt.%Nb alloy are 134 K [28] and 71 K [30], respectively. The solidification rate compared to the limit of absolute stability, i.e., the relative non-equilibrium of solidification, changes by simplification of the system. It is therefore important to use the composition of the actual multicomponent system in such simulations. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no MPF simulation using a multicomponent model coupled with a temperature analysis simulation to predict solute segregation in a Ni-based superalloy.

In this study, we demonstrate that the conventional MPF model can reproduce experimentally observed dendritic structures by performing a phase-field simulation using the temperature distribution obtained by a CtFD simulation of a multicomponent Ni-based alloy (conventional solid-solution hardening-type HX). The MPF simulation revealed that the segregation behavior of solute elements largely depends on the regions of the melt pool, such as the cell boundary, the interior of the melt-pool boundary, and heat-affected regions. The sensitivities of the various interfaces to liquation and solidification cracks are compared based on the predicted concentration distributions. Moreover, the feasibility of using the conventional MPF model for LPBF is discussed in terms of the absolute stability limit.

2. Methods

2.1. Laser-beam irradiation experiments

Rolled and recrystallized HX ingots with dimensions of 20 × 50 × 10 mm were used as the specimens for laser-irradiation experiments. The specimens were irradiated with a laser beam scanned along straight lines of 10 mm in length using a laser AM machine (EOS 290 M, EOS) equipped with a 400 W Yb-fiber laser. Irradiation was performed with a beam power of P = 300 W and a scanning speed of V = 600 mm s-1, which are the conditions generally used in the LPBF fabrication of Ni-based superalloy [8]. The corresponding line energy was 0.5 J mm-1. The samples were cut perpendicular to the beam-scanning direction for cross-sectional observation using a field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM, JEOL JSM 6500). Crystal orientation analysis was performed by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The sizes of each crystal grain and their aspect ratios were evaluated by analyzing the EBSD data.

2.2. CtFD simulation

CtFD simulations of the laser-beam irradiation of HX were performed using a 3D thermo-fluid analysis software (Flow Science FLOW-3D® with Flow-3D Weld module). A Gaussian heat source model was used, in which the irradiation intensity distribution of the beam is regarded as a symmetrical Gaussian distribution over the entire beam. The distribution of the beam irradiation intensity is expressed by the following equation.(1)q̇=2ηPπR2exp−2r2R2.

Here, P is the power, R is the effective beam radius, r is the actual beam radius, and η is the beam absorption rate of the substrate. To improve the accuracy of the model, η was calculated by assuming multiple reflections using the Fresnel equation:(2)�=1−121+1−�cos�21+1+�cos�2+�2−2�cos�+2cos2��2+2�cos�+2cos2�.

ε is the Fresnel coefficient and θ is the incident angle of the laser. A local laser melt causes the vaporization of the material and results in a high vapor pressure. This vapor pressure acts as a recoil pressure on the surface, pushing the weld pool down. The recoil pressure is reproduced using the following equation.(3)precoil=Ap0exp∆HLVRTV1−TVT.

Here, p0 is the atmospheric pressure, ∆HLV is the latent heat of vaporization, R is the gas constant, and TV is the boiling point at the saturated vapor pressure. A is a ratio coefficient that is generally assumed to be 0.54, indicating that the recoil pressure due to evaporation is 54% of the vapor pressure at equilibrium on the liquid surface.

Table 1 shows the parameters used in the simulations. Most parameters were evaluated using an alloy physical property calculation software (Sente software JMatPro v11). The values in a previously published study [31] were used for the emissivity and the Stefan–Boltzmann constant, and the values for pure Ni [32] were used for the heat of vaporization and vaporization temperatures. The Fresnel coefficient, which determines the beam absorption efficiency, was used as a fitting parameter to reproduce the morphology of the experimentally observed melt region, and a Fresnel coefficient of 0.12 was used in this study.

Table 1. Parameters used in the CtFD simulations.

ParameterSymbolValueReference
Density at 298.15 Kρ8.24 g cm-3[]
Liquidus temperatureTL1628.15 K[]
Solidus temperatureTS1533.15 K[]
Viscosity at TLη6.8 g m-1 s-1[]
Specific heat at 298.15 KCP0.439 J g-1 K-1[]
Thermal conductivity at 298.15 Kλ10.3 W m-1 K-1[]
Surface tension at TLγL1.85 J m-2[]
Temperature coefficient of surface tensiondγL/dT–2.5 × 10−4 J m-2 K-1[]
EmissivityΕ0.27[31]
Stefan–Boltzmann constantσ5.67 × 10-8 W m-2 K-4[31]
Heat of fusionΔHSL2.76 × 102 J g-1[32]
Heat of vaporizationΔHLV4.29 × 10J g-1[32]
Vaporization temperatureTV3110 K[32]

Calculated using JMatPro v11.

The dimensions of the computational domain of the numerical model were 4.0 mm in the beam-scanning direction, 0.4 mm in width, and 0.3 mm in height. A uniform mesh size of 10 μm was applied throughout the computational domain. The boundary condition of continuity was applied to all boundaries except for the top surface. The temperature was initially set to 300 K. P and V were set to their experimental values, i.e., 300 W and 600 mm s-1, respectively. Solidification conditions based on the temperature gradient, G, the solidification rate, R, and the cooling rate were evaluated, and the obtained temperature distribution was used in the MPF simulations.

2.3. MPF simulation

Two-dimensional MPF simulations weakly coupled with the CtFD simulation were performed using the Microstructure Evolution Simulation Software (MICRESS) [33][34][35][36][37] with the TQ-Interface for Thermo-Calc [38]. A simplified HX alloy composition of Ni-21.4Cr-17.6Fe-0.46Mn-8.80Mo-0.39Si-0.50W-1.10Co-0.08 C (mass %) was used in this study. The Gibbs free energy and diffusion coefficient of the system were calculated using the TCNI9 thermodynamic database [39] and the MOBNi5 mobility database [40]. Τhe equilibrium phase diagram calculated using Thermo-Calc indicates that the face-centered cubic (FCC) and σ phases appear as the equilibrium solid phases [19]. However, according to the time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram [41], the phases are formed after the sample is maintained for tens of hours in a temperature range of 1073 to 1173 K. Therefore, only the liquid and FCC phases were assumed to appear in the MPF simulations. The simulation domain was 5 × 100 μm, and the grid size Δx and interface width were set to 0.025 and 0.1 µm, respectively. The interfacial mobility between the solid and liquid phases was set to 1.0 × 10-8 m4 J-1 s-1. Initially, one crystalline nucleus with a [100] crystal orientation was placed at the left bottom of the simulation domain, with the liquid phase occupying the remainder of the domain. The model was solidified under the temperature field distribution obtained by the CtFD simulation. The concentration distribution and crystal orientation of the solidified model were examined. The primary dendrite arm space (PDAS) was compared to the experimental PDAS measured by the cross-sectional SEM observation.

In an actual LPBF process, solidified layers are remelted and resolidified during the stacking of the one layer above, thereby greatly affecting solute element distributions in those regions. Therefore, remelting and resolidification simulations were performed to examine the effect of remelting on solute segregation. The solidified model was remelted and resolidified by applying a time-dependent temperature field shifted by 60 μm in the height direction, assuming reheating during the stacking of the upper layer (i.e., the upper 40 μm region of the simulation box was remelted and resolidified). The changes in the composition distribution and formed microstructure were investigated.

3. Results

3.1. Experimental observation of melt pool

Fig. 1 shows a cross-sectional optical microscopy image and corresponding inverse pole figure (IPF) orientation maps obtained from the laser-melted region of HX. The dashed line indicates the fusion line. A deep melted region was formed by keyhole-mode melting due to the vaporization of the metal and resultant recoil pressure. Epitaxial growth from the unmelted region was observed. Columnar crystal grains with an average diameter of 5.46 ± 0.32 μm and an aspect ratio of 3.61 ± 0.13 appeared at the melt regions (Figs. 1b–1d). In addition, crystal grains growing in the z direction could be observed in the lower center.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2a shows a cross-sectional backscattering electron image (BEI) obtained from the laser-melted region indicated by the black square in Fig. 1a. The bright particles with a diameter of approximately 2 μm observed outside the melt pool. It is well known that M6C, M23C6, σ, and μ precipitate phases are formed in Hastelloy-X [41]. These precipitates mainly consisted of Mo, Cr, Fe, and Ni; The μ and M6C phases are rich in Mo, while the σ and M23C6 phases are rich in Cr. The SEM energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis suggested that the bright particles are the stable precipitates as shown in Fig. S2 and Table S1. Conversely, there are no carbides in the melt pool. This suggests that the cooling rate is extremely high during LPBF, which prevents the formation of a stable carbide during solidification. Figs. 2b–2f show magnified BEI images at different height positions indicated in Fig. 2a. Bright regions are observed between the cells, which become fragmentary at the center of the melt pool, as indicated by the yellow arrow heads in Figs. 2e and 2f.

Fig. 2

3.2. CtFD simulation

Figs. 3a–3c show snapshots of the CtFD simulation of HX at 2.72 ms, with the temperature indicated in color. A melt pool with an elongated teardrop shape formed and keyhole-mode melting was observed at the front of the melt region. The cooling rate, temperature gradient (G), and solidification rate (R) were evaluated from the temporal change in the temperature distribution of the CtFD simulation results. The z-position of the solid/liquid interface during the melting and solidification processes is shown in Fig. 3d. The interface goes down rapidly during melting and then rises during solidification. The MPF simulation of the microstructure formation during solidification was performed using the temperature distribution. Moreover, the microstructure formation process during the fabrication of the upper layer was investigated by remelting and resolidifying the solidified layer using the same temperature distribution with a 60 μm upward shift, corresponding to the layer thickness commonly used in the LPBF of Ni-based superalloys.

Fig. 3

Figs. 4a–4c show the changes in the cooling rate, temperature gradient, and solidification rate in the center line of the melt pool parallel to the z direction. To output the solidification conditions at the solid/liquid interface in the melt pool, only the data of the mesh where the solid phase ratio was close to 0.5 were plotted. Solidification occurred where the cooling rate was in the range of 2.1 × 105–1.6 × 10K s-1G was in the range of 3.6 × 105–1.9 × 10K m-1, and R was in the range of 8.2 × 10−2–6.3 × 10−1 m s-1. The cooling rate was the highest near the fusion line and decreased as the interface approached the center of the melt region (Fig. 4a). G also exhibited the highest value in the regions near the fusion line and decreased throughout the solid/liquid interface toward the center of the melt pool (Fig. 4b). R had the lowest value near the fusion line and increased as the interface approached the center of the melt region (Fig. 4c).

Fig. 4

3.3. MPF simulations coupled with CtFD simulation

MPF simulations of solidification, remelting, and resolidification were performed using the temperature-time distribution obtained by the CtFD simulation. Fig. 5 shows the MPF solidified models colored by phase and Mo concentration. All the computational domains show the FCC phase after the solidification (Fig. 5a). Dendrites grew parallel to the heat flow direction, and solute segregations were observed in the interdendritic regions. At the bottom of the melt pool (Fig. 5d), planar interface growth occurred before the formation of primary dendrites. The bottom of the melt pool is the turning point of the solid/liquid interface from the downward motion in melting to the upward motion in solidification. Thus, the solidification rate at the boundary is zero, and is extremely low immediately above the molt-pool boundary. Here, the lower limit of the solidification rate (R) for dendritic growth can be represented by the constitutional supercooling criterion [29]Vcs = (G × DL) / ΔT, and planar interface growth occurs at R < VcsDL and ΔT denote the diffusion coefficient in the liquid and the equilibrium freezing range, respectively. The results suggest that planar interface growth occurs at the bottom of the melt pool, resulting in a dark region with a different solute element distribution. Some of the primary dendrites were diminished by competition with other dendrites. In addition, secondary dendrite arms could be seen in the upper regions (Fig. 5c), where solidification occurred at a lower cooling rate. The fragmentation of the solute segregation near the secondary dendrite arms is similar to that observed in the experimental melt pool shown in Figs. 2e and 2f, and the secondary dendrite arms are suggested to have appeared at the center of the melt region. Fig. 6 shows the PDASs measured from the MPF simulation models, compared to the experimental PDASs measured by the cross-sectional SEM observation of the laser-melted regions (Fig. 2). The PDAS obtained by the MPF simulation become larger as the solidification progress. Ghosh et al. [21] evident by the phase-field method that the PDAS decreases as the cooling rate increases under the rapid cooling conditions obtained by the finite element analysis. In this study, the cooling rate was decreased as the interface approached the center of the melt region (Fig. 4a), and the trends in PDAS changes with respect to cooling rate is same as the reported trend [21]. The simulated trends of the PDAS with the position in the melt pool agreed well with the experimental trends. However, all PDASs in the simulation were larger than those observed in the experiment at the same positions. Ode et al. [42] reported that PDAS differences between 2D and 3D MPF simulations can be represented by PDAS2D = 1.12 × PDAS3D owing to differences in the effects of the interfacial energy and diffusivity. We also performed 2D and 3D MPF simulations under the solidification conditions of G = 1.94 × 10K m-1 and R = 0.82 m s-1 (Fig. S1), and found that the PDAS from the 2D MPF simulation was 1.26 times larger than that from the 3D simulation. Therefore, the cell structure obtained by the CtFD simulation coupled with the 2D MPF simulation agreed well with the experimental results over the entire melt pool region considering the dimensional effects.

Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Fig. 7b1 and 7c1 show the concentration profiles of the solidified model along the growth direction indicated by dashed lines in Fig. 7a. The differences in concentrations from the alloy composition are also shown in Fig. 7b2 and 7c2. Cr, Mo, C, Mn, and W were segregated to the interdendritic regions, while Si, Fe, and Co were depressed. The solute segregation behavior agrees with the experimentally observation [43] and the prediction by the Scheil-Gulliver simulation [19]. Segregation occurred to the highest degree in Mo, while the ratio of segregation to the alloy composition was remarkable in C. The concentration fluctuations correlated with the position in the melt pool and decreased at the center of the melt pool, which was suggested to correspond to the lower cooling rate in this region. Conversely, droplets that appeared between secondary dendrite arms in the upper regions of the simulation domain exhibited a locally high segregation of solute elements, with the same amount of segregation as that at the bottom of the melt pool.

Fig. 7

3.4. Remelting and resolidification simulation

The solidified model was subjected to remelting and resolidification conditions by shifting the temperature profile upward by 60 µm to reveal the effect of reheating on the solute segregation behavior. Figs. 8a and 8b shows the simulation domains of the HX model after resolidification, colored by phase and Mo concentration. The magnified MPF models during the resolidification of the regions indicated by rectangles in Figs. 8a and 8b are also shown as Figs. 8c and 8d. Dendrites grew from the bottom of the remelted region, with the segregation of solute elements occurring in the interdendritic regions. The entire domain become the FCC phase after the resolidification, as shown in Fig. 8a. The bottom of the remelted regions exhibited a different microstructure, and Mo was depressed at the remelted regions, rather than the interdendritic regions. The different solute segregation behavior [44] and the microstructure formation [45] at the melt pool boundary is also observed in LPBF manufactured 316 L stainless steel. We found that this microstructure was formed by further remelting during the resolidification process, which is shown in Fig. 9. Here, the solidified HX model was heated, and the interdendritic regions were preferentially melted while concentration fluctuations were maintained (Fig. 9a1 and 9a2). Subsequently, planer interface growth occurs near the melt pool boundary where the solidification rate is almost zero, and the dendrites outside of the boundary are grown epitaxially (Fig. 9b1 and 9b2). However, these remelted again because of the temperature rise (Fig. 9c1 and 9c2, and the temperature-time profile shown in Fig. 9e). The remelted regions then cooled and solidified with the abnormal solute segregations (Fig. 9d1 and 9d2). Then, dendrite grows from amplified fluctuations under the solidification rate larger than the criterion of constitutional supercooling (Fig. 9d1, 9d2, and Fig. 8d). It has been reported [46][47] that temperature rising owning to latent heat affects microstructure formation: phase-field simulations of a Ni–Al binary alloy suggest that the release of latent heat during solidification increases the average temperature of the system [46] and strongly influences the solidification conditions [47]. In this study, the release of latent heat during solidification is considered in CtFD simulations for calculating the temperature distribution, and the temperature increase is suggested to have also occurred due to the release of latent heat.

Fig. 8
Fig. 9

Fig. 10b1 and 10c1 show the solute element concentration line profiles of the resolidified model along the growth direction indicated by dashed lines in Fig. 10a. Fig. 10b2 and 10c2 show the corresponding differences in concentration from the alloy composition. The segregation behavior of solute elements at the interdendritic regions (Fig. 10b1 and 10b2) was the same as that in the solidified model (Figs. 7b1 and 7b2). Here, Cr, Mo, C, Mn, and W were segregated to the interdendritic regions, while Si, Fe, and Co were depressed. However, the concentration fluctuations at the interdendritic regions were larger than those in the solidified model. Moreover, the segregation of the outside of the melt pool, i.e., the heat-affected zone, was remarkable throughout remelting and resolidification. Different segregation behaviors were observed in the re-remelted region: Mo, Si, Mn, and W were segregated, while Ni, Fe, and Co were depressed. These solute segregations caused by remelting are expected to heavily influence the crack behavior.

Fig. 10

4. Discussion

4.1. Effect of segregation of solute elements on liquation cracking susceptibility

Strong solute segregation was observed between the interdendritic regions of the solidified alloy (Fig. 7). In addition, the solute segregation behavior was significantly affected by remelting and resolidification and varied across the alloy. Solute segregation can be categorized by the regions shown in Fig. 11a1–11a4, namely the cell boundary (Fig. 11a1), interior of the melt-pool boundary (Fig. 11a2), re-remelted regions (Fig. 11a3), and heat-affected regions (Fig. 11a4). The concentration profiles of these regions are shown in Fig. 11b1–11b4. Solute segregation was the highest in the cell boundary region. The solute segregation in the heat-affected region was almost the same as that in the cell boundary region, but seemed to have been attenuated by reheating during remelting and resolidification. The interior of the melt-pool boundary region also had the same tendency for solute segregation. However, the amount of Cr segregation was smaller than that of Mo. A decrease in the Cr concentration was also mitigated, and the concentration remained the same as that in the alloy composition. Fig. 11c1–11c4 show the chemical potentials of the solute elements for the FCC phase at 1073 K calculated using the compositions of those interfacial regions. All the interfacial regions showed non-constant chemical potentials for each element along the perpendicular direction, but the fluctuations of the chemical potentials differed by the type of interfaces. In particular, the fluctuation of the chemical potential of C at the cell boundary region was the largest, suggesting it can be relaxed easily by heat treatment. On the other hand, the fluctuations of the other elements in all the regions were small. The solute segregations are most likely to remain after the heat treatment and are supposed to affect the cracking susceptibilities.

Fig. 11

The solidus temperatures TS, the difference between the liquidus and solidus temperatures (i.e., the brittle temperature range (BTR)), and the fractions of the equilibrium precipitate phases at 1073 K of the interfacial regions were calculated as the liquation, solidification, and ductility dip cracking susceptibilities, respectively. At the cell boundary (Fig. 12a1), interior of the melt-pool boundary (Fig. 12a1), and heat-affected regions (Fig. 12a1), the internal and interfacial regions exhibited higher and lower TS compared to that of the alloy composition, respectively. The lowest Ts was obtained with the composition at the cell boundary region, which is the largest solute-segregated region. It has been suggested that strong segregations of solute elements in LPBF lead to liquation cracks [16]. This study also supports this suggestion, and liquation cracks are more likely to occur at the interfacial regions indicated by predicting the solute segregation behavior using the MPF model. Additionally, the BTRs of the cell boundary, interior of the melt-pool boundary, and heat-affected regions were wider at the interdendritic regions, and solidification cracks were also likely to occur in these regions. Moreover, within the solute segregation regions, the fraction of the precipitate phases in these interfacial regions was larger than that calculated using the alloy composition (Fig. 12c1, 12c2, and 12c4). This indicates that ductility dip cracking is also likely to occur at the cell boundary, interior of the melt-pool boundary, and in heat-affected regions. Contrarily, we found that the re-remelted region exhibited a higher TS and smaller BTR even in the interfacial region (Fig. 12a3 and 12b3), where the solute segregation behavior was different from that of the other regions. In addition, the re-remelting region exhibited less precipitation compared with the other segregated regions (Fig. 12c3). The re-remelting caused by the latent heat can attenuate solute segregation, prevent Ts from decreasing, decrease the BTR, and decrease the amount of precipitate phases. Alloys with a large amount of latent heat are expected to increase the re-remelting region, thereby decreasing the susceptibility to liquation and ductility dip cracks due to solute element segregation. This can be a guide for designing alloys for the LPBF process. As mentioned in Section 3.4, the microstructure [45] and the solute segregation behavior [44] at the melt pool boundary of LPBF-manufactured 316 L stainless steel are observed, and they are different from that of the interdendritic regions. Experimental observations of the solute segregation behavior in the LPBF-fabricated Ni-based alloys are currently underway.

Fig. 12

4.2. Applicability of the conventional MPF simulation to microstructure formation under LPBF

As the solidification growth rate increases, segregation coefficients approach 1, and the fluctuation of the solid/liquid interface is suppressed by the interfacial tension. The interface growth occurs in a flat fashion instead of having a cellular morphology at a velocity above the absolute stability limit, Ras, predicted by the Mullins-Sekerka theory [29]Ras = (ΔT0 DL) / (k Γ) where ΔT0DLk, and Γ are the difference between the liquidus and solidus temperatures, equilibrium segregation coefficient, the diffusivity of liquid, and the Gibbs-Thomson coefficient, respectively.

The Ras of HX was calculated using the equation and the thermodynamic parameters obtained by the TCNI9 thermodynamic database [39]. The calculated Ras of HX was 3.9 m s-1 and is ten times larger than that of the Ni–Nb alloy (approximately 0.4 m s-1[20]. The HX alloy was solidified under R values in the range of 8.2 × 10−2–6.3 × 10−1 m s-1. The theoretically calculated criterion is larger than the evaluated R, and is in agreement with the experiment in which dendritic growth is observed in the melt pool (Fig. 5). In contrast, Karayagiz et al. [20] reported that the R of the Ni–Nb binary alloy under LPBF was as high as approximately 2 m s-1, and planar interface growth was observed to be predominant under the high-growth-rate conditions. These experimentally observed microstructures agree well with the prediction by the Mullins-Sekerka theory about the relationship between the morphology and solidification rates.

In this study, the solidification microstructure formed by the laser-beam irradiation of an HX multicomponent Ni-based superalloy was reproduced by a conventional MPF simulation, in which the system was assumed to be in a quasi-equilibrium condition. Boussinot et al. [24] also suggested that the conventional phase-field model can be applied to simulate the microstructure of an IN718 multicomponent Ni-based superalloy in LPBF. In contrast, Kagayaski et al. [20] suggested that the conventional MPF simulation cannot be applied to the solidification of the Ni-Nb binary alloy system and that the finite interface dissipation model proposed by Steinbach et al. [48][49] is necessary to simulate the high solidification rates observed in LPBF. The difference in the applicability of the conventional MPF method to HX and Ni–Nb binary alloys is presumed to arise from the differences in the non-equilibrium degree of these systems under the high solidification rates of LPBF. The results suggest that Ras can be used as a simple index to apply the conventional MPF model for solidification in LPBF. Solidification becomes a non-equilibrium process as the solidification rate approaches the limit of absolute stability, Ras. In this study, the solidification of the HX multicomponent system occurred under a relatively low solidification rate compared to Ras, and the microstructure of the conventional MPF model was successfully reproduced in the physical experiment. However, note that the limit of absolute stability predicted by the Mullins-Sekerka theory was originally proposed for solidification in a binary alloy system, and further investigation is required to consider its applicability to multicomponent alloy systems. Moreover, the fast solidification, such as in the LPBF process, causes segregation coefficient approaching a value of 1 [20][21][25] corresponds to a diffusion length that is on the order of the atomic interface thickness. When the segregation coefficient approaches 1, solute undercooling disappears; hence, there is no driving force to amplify fluctuations regardless of whether interfacial tension is present. This phenomenon should be further investigated in future studies.

5. Conclusions

We simulated solute segregation in a multicomponent HX alloy under the LPBF process by an MPF simulation using the temperature distributions obtained by a CtFD simulation. We set the parameters of the CtFD simulation to match the melt pool shape formed in the laser-irradiation experiment and found that solidification occurred under high cooling rates of up to 1.6 × 10K s-1.

MPF simulations using the temperature distributions from CtFD simulation could reproduce the experimentally observed PDAS and revealed that significant solute segregation occurred at the interdendritic regions. Equilibrium thermodynamic calculations using the alloy compositions of the segregated regions when considering crack sensitivities suggested a decrease in the solidus temperature and an increase in the amount of carbide precipitation, thereby increasing the susceptibility to liquation and ductility dip cracks in these regions. Notably, these changes were suppressed at the melt-pool boundary region, where re-remelting occurred during the stacking of the layer above. This effect can be used to achieve a novel in-process segregation attenuation.

Our study revealed that a conventional MPF simulation weakly coupled with a CtFD simulation can be used to study the solidification of multicomponent alloys in LPBF, contrary to the cases of binary alloys investigated in previous studies. We discussed the applicability of the conventional MPF model to the LPBF process in terms of the limit of absolute stability, Ras, and suggested that alloys with a high limit velocity, i.e., multicomponent alloys, can be simulated using the conventional MPF model even under the high solidification velocity conditions of LPBF.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Masayuki Okugawa: Writing – review & editing, Writing – original draft, Visualization, Validation, Software, Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation, Conceptualization. Takayoshi Nakano: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Supervision, Funding acquisition. Yuichiro Koizumi: Writing – review & editing, Visualization, Validation, Supervision, Project administration, Methodology, Investigation, Funding acquisition, Formal analysis, Data curation, Conceptualization. Sukeharu Nomoto: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Investigation. Makoto Watanabe: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Supervision, Funding acquisition. Katsuhiko Sawaizumi: Validation, Software, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation. Kenji Saito: Visualization, Validation, Software, Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation. Haruki Yoshima: Visualization, Validation, Software, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper

Acknowledgments

This work was partly supported by the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), “Materials Integration for Revolutionary Design System of Structural Materials,” (funding agency: The Japan Science and Technology Agency), by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 21H05018 and 21H05193, and by CREST Nanomechanics: Elucidation of macroscale mechanical properties based on understanding nanoscale dynamics for innovative mechanical materials (Grant Number: JPMJCR2194) from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The authors would like to thank Mr. H. Kawabata and Mr. K. Kimura for their technical support with the sample preparations and laser beam irradiation experiments.

Appendix A. Supplementary material

Download : Download Word document (654KB)

Supplementary material.

Data availability

Data will be made available on request.

References

Schematic diagram of HP-LPBF melting process.

Modeling and numerical studies of high-precision laser powder bed fusion

Yi Wei ;Genyu Chen;Nengru Tao;Wei Zhou
https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0191504

In order to comprehensively reveal the evolutionary dynamics of the molten pool and the state of motion of the fluid during the high-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) process, this study aims to deeply investigate the specific manifestations of the multiphase flow, solidification phenomena, and heat transfer during the process by means of numerical simulation methods. Numerical simulation models of SS316L single-layer HP-LPBF formation with single and double tracks were constructed using the discrete element method and the computational fluid dynamics method. The effects of various factors such as Marangoni convection, surface tension, vapor recoil, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool have been paid attention to during the model construction process. The results show that the molten pool exhibits a “comet” shape, in which the temperature gradient at the front end of the pool is significantly larger than that at the tail end, with the highest temperature gradient up to 1.69 × 108 K/s. It is also found that the depth of the second track is larger than that of the first one, and the process parameter window has been determined preliminarily. In addition, the application of HP-LPBF technology helps to reduce the surface roughness and minimize the forming size.

Topics

Heat transferNonequilibrium thermodynamicsSolidification processComputer simulationDiscrete element methodLasersMass transferFluid mechanicsComputational fluid dynamicsMultiphase flows

I. INTRODUCTION

Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) has become a research hotspot in the field of additive manufacturing of metals due to its advantages of high-dimensional accuracy, good surface quality, high density, and high material utilization.1,2 With the rapid development of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics, the demand for microfabrication technology is increasing day by day.3 High-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) is one of the key manufacturing technologies for tiny parts in the fields of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics because of its process characteristics such as small focal spot diameter, small powder particle size, and thin powder layup layer thickness.4–13 Compared with LPBF, HP-LPBF has the significant advantages of smaller focal spot diameter, smaller powder particle size, and thinner layer thickness. These advantages make HP-LPBF perform better in producing micro-fine parts, high surface quality, and parts with excellent mechanical properties.

HP-LPBF is in the exploratory stage, and researchers have already done some exploratory studies on the focal spot diameter, the amount of defocusing, and the powder particle size. In order to explore the influence of changing the laser focal spot diameter on the LPBF process characteristics of the law, Wildman et al.14 studied five groups of different focal spot diameter LPBF forming 316L stainless steel (SS316L) processing effect, the smallest focal spot diameter of 26 μm, and the results confirm that changing the focal spot diameter can be achieved to achieve the energy control, so as to control the quality of forming. Subsequently, Mclouth et al.15 proposed the laser out-of-focus amount (focal spot diameter) parameter, which characterizes the distance between the forming plane and the laser focal plane. The laser energy density was controlled by varying the defocusing amount while keeping the laser parameters constant. Sample preparation at different focal positions was investigated, and their microstructures were characterized. The results show that the samples at the focal plane have finer microstructure than those away from the focal plane, which is the effect of higher power density and smaller focal spot diameter. In order to explore the influence of changing the powder particle size on the characteristics of the LPBF process, Qian et al.16 carried out single-track scanning simulations on powder beds with average powder particle sizes of 70 and 40 μm, respectively, and the results showed that the melt tracks sizes were close to each other under the same process parameters for the two particle-size distributions and that the molten pool of powder beds with small particles was more elongated and the edges of the melt tracks were relatively flat. In order to explore the superiority of HP-LPBF technology, Xu et al.17 conducted a comparative analysis of HP-LPBF and conventional LPBF of SS316L. The results showed that the average surface roughness of the top surface after forming by HP-LPBF could reach 3.40 μm. Once again, it was verified that HP-LPBF had higher forming quality than conventional LPBF. On this basis, Wei et al.6 comparatively analyzed the effects of different laser focal spot diameters on different powder particle sizes formed by LPBF. The results showed that the smaller the laser focal spot diameter, the fewer the defects on the top and side surfaces. The above research results confirm that reducing the laser focal spot diameter can obtain higher energy density and thus better forming quality.

LPBF involves a variety of complex systems and mechanisms, and the final quality of the part is influenced by a large number of process parameters.18–24 Some research results have shown that there are more than 50 factors affecting the quality of the specimen. The influencing factors are mainly categorized into three main groups: (1) laser parameters, (2) powder parameters, and (3) equipment parameters, which interact with each other to determine the final specimen quality. With the continuous development of technologies such as computational materials science and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the method of studying the influence of different factors on the forming quality of LPBF forming process has been shifted from time-consuming and laborious experimental characterization to the use of numerical simulation methods. As a result, more and more researchers are adopting this approach for their studies. Currently, numerical simulation studies on LPBF are mainly focused on the exploration of molten pool, temperature distribution, and residual stresses.

  1. Finite element simulation based on continuum mechanics and free surface fluid flow modeling based on fluid dynamics are two common approaches to study the behavior of LPBF molten pool.25–28 Finite element simulation focuses on the temperature and thermal stress fields, treats the powder bed as a continuum, and determines the molten pool size by plotting the elemental temperature above the melting point. In contrast, fluid dynamics modeling can simulate the 2D or 3D morphology of the metal powder pile and obtain the powder size and distribution by certain algorithms.29 The flow in the molten pool is mainly affected by recoil pressure and the Marangoni effect. By simulating the molten pool formation, it is possible to predict defects, molten pool shape, and flow characteristics, as well as the effect of process parameters on the molten pool geometry.30–34 In addition, other researchers have been conducted to optimize the laser processing parameters through different simulation methods and experimental data.35–46 Crystal growth during solidification is studied to further understand the effect of laser parameters on dendritic morphology and solute segregation.47–54 A multi-scale system has been developed to describe the fused deposition process during 3D printing, which is combined with the conductive heat transfer model and the dendritic solidification model.55,56
  2. Relevant scholars have adopted various different methods for simulation, such as sequential coupling theory,57 Lagrangian and Eulerian thermal models,58 birth–death element method,25 and finite element method,59 in order to reveal the physical phenomena of the laser melting process and optimize the process parameters. Luo et al.60 compared the LPBF temperature field and molten pool under double ellipsoidal and Gaussian heat sources by ANSYS APDL and found that the diffusion of the laser energy in the powder significantly affects the molten pool size and the temperature field.
  3. The thermal stresses obtained from the simulation correlate with the actual cracks,61 and local preheating can effectively reduce the residual stresses.62 A three-dimensional thermodynamic finite element model investigated the temperature and stress variations during laser-assisted fabrication and found that powder-to-solid conversion increases the temperature gradient, stresses, and warpage.63 Other scholars have predicted residual stresses and part deflection for LPBF specimens and investigated the effects of deposition pattern, heat, laser power, and scanning strategy on residual stresses, noting that high-temperature gradients lead to higher residual stresses.64–67 

In short, the process of LPBF forming SS316L is extremely complex and usually involves drastic multi-scale physicochemical changes that will only take place on a very small scale. Existing literature employs DEM-based mesoscopic-scale numerical simulations to investigate the effects of process parameters on the molten pool dynamics of LPBF-formed SS316L. However, a few studies have been reported on the key mechanisms of heating and solidification, spatter, and convective behavior of the molten pool of HP-LPBF-formed SS316L with small laser focal spot diameters. In this paper, the geometrical properties of coarse and fine powder particles under three-dimensional conditions were first calculated using DEM. Then, numerical simulation models for single-track and double-track cases in the single-layer HP-LPBF forming SS316L process were developed at mesoscopic scale using the CFD method. The flow genesis of the melt in the single-track and double-track molten pools is discussed, and their 3D morphology and dimensional characteristics are discussed. In addition, the effects of laser process parameters, powder particle size, and laser focal spot diameter on the temperature field, characterization information, and defects in the molten pool are discussed.

II. MODELING

A. 3D powder bed modeling

HP-LPBF is an advanced processing technique for preparing target parts layer by layer stacking, the process of which involves repetitive spreading and melting of powders. In this process, both the powder spreading and the morphology of the powder bed are closely related to the results of the subsequent melting process, while the melted surface also affects the uniform distribution of the next layer of powder. For this reason, this chapter focuses on the modeling of the physical action during the powder spreading process and the theory of DEM to establish the numerical model of the powder bed, so as to lay a solid foundation for the accuracy of volume of fluid (VOF) and CFD.

1. DEM

DEM is a numerical technique for calculating the interaction of a large number of particles, which calculates the forces and motions of the spheres by considering each powder sphere as an independent unit. The motion of the powder particles follows the laws of classical Newtonian mechanics, including translational and rotational,38,68–70 which are expressed as follows:����¨=���+∑��ij,

(1)����¨=∑�(�ij×�ij),

(2)

where �� is the mass of unit particle i in kg, ��¨ is the advective acceleration in m/s2, And g is the gravitational acceleration in m/s2. �ij is the force in contact with the neighboring particle � in N. �� is the rotational inertia of the unit particle � in kg · m2. ��¨ is the unit particle � angular acceleration in rad/s2. �ij is the vector pointing from unit particle � to the contact point of neighboring particle �⁠.

Equations (1) and (2) can be used to calculate the velocity and angular velocity variations of powder particles to determine their positions and velocities. A three-dimensional powder bed model of SS316L was developed using DEM. The powder particles are assumed to be perfect spheres, and the substrate and walls are assumed to be rigid. To describe the contact between the powder particles and between the particles and the substrate, a non-slip Hertz–Mindlin nonlinear spring-damping model71 was used with the following expression:�hz=��������+��[(�����ij−�eff����)−(�����+�eff����)],

(3)

where �hz is the force calculated using the Hertzian in M. �� and �� are the radius of unit particles � and � in m, respectively. �� is the overlap size of the two powder particles in m. ��⁠, �� are the elastic constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �ij is the unit vector connecting the centerlines of the two powder particles. �eff is the effective mass of the two powder particles in kg. �� and �� are the viscoelastic damping constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �� and �� are the components of the relative velocities of the two powder particles. ��� is the displacement vector between two spherical particles. The schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles is shown in Fig. 1.

FIG. 1.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles.

Because the particle size of the powder used for HP-LPBF is much smaller than 100 μm, the effect of van der Waals forces must be considered. Therefore, the cohesive force �jkr of the Hertz–Mindlin model was used instead of van der Waals forces,72 with the following expression:�jkr=−4��0�*�1.5+4�*3�*�3,

(4)1�*=(1−��2)��+(1−��2)��,

(5)1�*=1��+1��,

(6)

where �* is the equivalent Young’s modulus in GPa; �* is the equivalent particle radius in m; �0 is the surface energy of the powder particles in J/m2; α is the contact radius in m; �� and �� are the Young’s modulus of the unit particles � and �⁠, respectively, in GPa; and �� and �� are the Poisson’s ratio of the unit particles � and �⁠, respectively.

2. Model building

Figure 2 shows a 3D powder bed model generated using DEM with a coarse powder geometry of 1000 × 400 × 30 μm3. The powder layer thickness is 30 μm, and the powder bed porosity is 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 31.7 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 15–53 μm. The geometry of the fine powder was 1000 × 400 × 20 μm3, with a layer thickness of 20 μm, and the powder bed porosity of 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 11.5 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 5–25 μm. After the 3D powder bed model is generated, it needs to be imported into the CFD simulation software for calculation, and the imported geometric model is shown in Fig. 3. This geometric model is mainly composed of three parts: protective gas, powder bed, and substrate. Under the premise of ensuring the accuracy of the calculation, the mesh size is set to 3 μm, and the total number of coarse powder meshes is 1 704 940. The total number of fine powder meshes is 3 982 250.

FIG. 2.

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Three-dimensional powder bed model: (a) coarse powder, (b) fine powder.

FIG. 3.

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Geometric modeling of the powder bed computational domain: (a) coarse powder, (b) fine powder.

B. Modeling of fluid mechanics simulation

In order to solve the flow, melting, and solidification problems involved in HP-LPBF molten pool, the study must follow the three governing equations of conservation of mass, conservation of energy, and conservation of momentum.73 The VOF method, which is the most widely used in fluid dynamics, is used to solve the molten pool dynamics model.

1. VOF

VOF is a method for tracking the free interface between the gas and liquid phases on the molten pool surface. The core idea of the method is to define a volume fraction function F within each grid, indicating the proportion of the grid space occupied by the material, 0 ≤ F ≤ 1 in Fig. 4. Specifically, when F = 0, the grid is empty and belongs to the gas-phase region; when F = 1, the grid is completely filled with material and belongs to the liquid-phase region; and when 0 < F < 1, the grid contains free surfaces and belongs to the mixed region. The direction normal to the free surface is the direction of the fastest change in the volume fraction F (the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction), and the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction can be calculated from the values of the volume fractions in the neighboring grids.74 The equations controlling the VOF are expressed as follows:𝛻����+�⋅(��→)=0,

(7)

where t is the time in s and �→ is the liquid velocity in m/s.

FIG. 4.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic diagram of VOF.

The material parameters of the mixing zone are altered due to the inclusion of both the gas and liquid phases. Therefore, in order to represent the density of the mixing zone, the average density �¯ is used, which is expressed as follows:72�¯=(1−�1)�gas+�1�metal,

(8)

where �1 is the proportion of liquid phase, �gas is the density of protective gas in kg/m3, and �metal is the density of metal in kg/m3.

2. Control equations and boundary conditions

Figure 5 is a schematic diagram of the HP-LPBF melting process. First, the laser light strikes a localized area of the material and rapidly heats up the area. Next, the energy absorbed in the region is diffused through a variety of pathways (heat conduction, heat convection, and surface radiation), and this process triggers complex phase transition phenomena (melting, evaporation, and solidification). In metals undergoing melting, the driving forces include surface tension and the Marangoni effect, recoil due to evaporation, and buoyancy due to gravity and uneven density. The above physical phenomena interact with each other and do not occur independently.

FIG. 5.

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Schematic diagram of HP-LPBF melting process.

  1. Laser heat sourceThe Gaussian surface heat source model is used as the laser heat source model with the following expression:�=2�0����2exp(−2�12��2),(9)where � is the heat flow density in W/m2, �0 is the absorption rate of SS316L, �� is the radius of the laser focal spot in m, and �1 is the radial distance from the center of the laser focal spot in m. The laser focal spot can be used for a wide range of applications.
  2. Energy absorptionThe formula for calculating the laser absorption �0 of SS316L is as follows:�0=0.365(�0[1+�0(�−20)]/�)0.5,(10)where �0 is the direct current resistivity of SS316L at 20 °C in Ω m, �0 is the resistance temperature coefficient in ppm/°C, � is the temperature in °C, and � is the laser wavelength in m.
  3. Heat transferThe basic principle of heat transfer is conservation of energy, which is expressed as follows:𝛻𝛻𝛻�(��)��+�·(��→�)=�·(�0����)+��,(11)where � is the density of liquid phase SS316L in kg/m3, �� is the specific heat capacity of SS316L in J/(kg K), 𝛻� is the gradient operator, t is the time in s, T is the temperature in K, 𝛻�� is the temperature gradient, �→ is the velocity vector, �0 is the coefficient of thermal conduction of SS316L in W/(m K), and  �� is the thermal energy dissipation term in the molten pool.
  4. Molten pool flowThe following three conditions need to be satisfied for the molten pool to flow:
    • Conservation of mass with the following expression:𝛻�·(��→)=0.(12)
    • Conservation of momentum (Navier–Stokes equation) with the following expression:𝛻𝛻𝛻𝛻���→��+�(�→·�)�→=�·[−pI+�(��→+(��→)�)]+�,(13)where � is the pressure in Pa exerted on the liquid phase SS316L microelement, � is the unit matrix, � is the fluid viscosity in N s/m2, and � is the volumetric force (gravity, atmospheric pressure, surface tension, vapor recoil, and the Marangoni effect).
    • Conservation of energy, see Eq. (11)
  5. Surface tension and the Marangoni effectThe effect of temperature on the surface tension coefficient is considered and set as a linear relationship with the following expression:�=�0−��dT(�−��),(14)where � is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature T in N/m, �� is the melting temperature of SS316L in K, �0 is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature �� in Pa, and σdσ/ dT is the surface tension temperature coefficient in N/(m K).In general, surface tension decreases with increasing temperature. A temperature gradient causes a gradient in surface tension that drives the liquid to flow, known as the Marangoni effect.
  6. Metal vapor recoilAt higher input energy densities, the maximum temperature of the molten pool surface reaches the evaporation temperature of the material, and a gasification recoil pressure occurs vertically downward toward the molten pool surface, which will be the dominant driving force for the molten pool flow.75 The expression is as follows:��=0.54�� exp ���−���0���,(15)where �� is the gasification recoil pressure in Pa, �� is the ambient pressure in kPa, �� is the latent heat of evaporation in J/kg, �0 is the gas constant in J/(mol K), T is the surface temperature of the molten pool in K, and Te is the evaporation temperature in K.
  7. Solid–liquid–gas phase transitionWhen the laser hits the powder layer, the powder goes through three stages: heating, melting, and solidification. During the solidification phase, mutual transformations between solid, liquid, and gaseous states occur. At this point, the latent heat of phase transition absorbed or released during the phase transition needs to be considered.68 The phase transition is represented based on the relationship between energy and temperature with the following expression:�=�����,(�<��),�(��)+�−����−����,(��<�<��)�(��)+(�−��)����,(��<�),,(16)where �� and �� are solid and liquid phase density, respectively, of SS316L in kg/m3. �� and �� unit volume of solid and liquid phase-specific heat capacity, respectively, of SS316L in J/(kg K). �� and ��⁠, respectively, are the solidification temperature and melting temperature of SS316L in K. �� is the latent heat of the phase transition of SS316L melting in J/kg.

3. Assumptions

The CFD model was computed using the commercial software package FLOW-3D.76 In order to simplify the calculation and solution process while ensuring the accuracy of the results, the model makes the following assumptions:

  1. It is assumed that the effects of thermal stress and material solid-phase thermal expansion on the calculation results are negligible.
  2. The molten pool flow is assumed to be a Newtonian incompressible laminar flow, while the effects of liquid thermal expansion and density on the results are neglected.
  3. It is assumed that the surface tension can be simplified to an equivalent pressure acting on the free surface of the molten pool, and the effect of chemical composition on the results is negligible.
  4. Neglecting the effect of the gas flow field on the molten pool.
  5. The mass loss due to evaporation of the liquid metal is not considered.
  6. The influence of the plasma effect of the molten metal on the calculation results is neglected.

It is worth noting that the formulation of assumptions requires a trade-off between accuracy and computational efficiency. In the above models, some physical phenomena that have a small effect or high difficulty on the calculation results are simplified or ignored. Such simplifications make numerical simulations more efficient and computationally tractable, while still yielding accurate results.

4. Initial conditions

The preheating temperature of the substrate was set to 393 K, at which time all materials were in the solid state and the flow rate was zero.

5. Material parameters

The material used is SS316L and the relevant parameters required for numerical simulations are shown in Table I.46,77,78

TABLE I.

SS316L-related parameters.

PropertySymbolValue
Density of solid metal (kg/m3�metal 7980 
Solid phase line temperature (K) �� 1658 
Liquid phase line temperature (K) �� 1723 
Vaporization temperature (K) �� 3090 
Latent heat of melting (⁠ J/kg⁠) �� 2.60×105 
Latent heat of evaporation (⁠ J/kg⁠) �� 7.45×106 
Surface tension of liquid phase (N /m⁠) � 1.60 
Liquid metal viscosity (kg/m s) �� 6×10−3 
Gaseous metal viscosity (kg/m s) �gas 1.85×10−5 
Temperature coefficient of surface tension (N/m K) ��/�T 0.80×10−3 
Molar mass (⁠ kg/mol⁠) 0.05 593 
Emissivity � 0.26 
Laser absorption �0 0.35 
Ambient pressure (kPa) �� 101 325 
Ambient temperature (K) �0 300 
Stefan–Boltzmann constant (W/m2 K4� 5.67×10−8 
Thermal conductivity of metals (⁠ W/m K⁠) � 24.55 
Density of protective gas (kg/m3�gas 1.25 
Coefficient of thermal expansion (/K) �� 16×10−6 
Generalized gas constant (⁠ J/mol K⁠) 8.314 

III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

With the objective of studying in depth the evolutionary patterns of single-track and double-track molten pool development, detailed observations were made for certain specific locations in the model, as shown in Fig. 6. In this figure, P1 and P2 represent the longitudinal tangents to the centers of the two melt tracks in the XZ plane, while L1 is the transverse profile in the YZ plane. The scanning direction is positive and negative along the X axis. Points A and B are the locations of the centers of the molten pool of the first and second melt tracks, respectively (x = 1.995 × 10−4, y = 5 × 10−7, and z = −4.85 × 10−5).

FIG. 6.

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Schematic diagram of observation position.

A. Single-track simulation

A series of single-track molten pool simulation experiments were carried out in order to investigate the influence law of laser power as well as scanning speed on the HP-LPBF process. Figure 7 demonstrates the evolution of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the single-track molten pool in the time period of 50–500 μs under a laser power of 100 W and a scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The powder bed is in the natural cooling state. When t = 50 μs, the powder is heated by the laser heat and rapidly melts and settles to form the initial molten pool. This process is accompanied by partial melting of the substrate and solidification together with the melted powder. The molten pool rapidly expands with increasing width, depth, length, and temperature, as shown in Fig. 7(a). When t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands more obviously, and the temperature starts to transfer to the surrounding area, forming a heat-affected zone. At this point, the width of the molten pool tends to stabilize, and the temperature in the center of the molten pool has reached its peak and remains largely stable. However, the phenomenon of molten pool spatter was also observed in this process, as shown in Fig. 7(b). As time advances, when t = 300 μs, solidification begins to occur at the tail of the molten pool, and tiny ripples are produced on the solidified surface. This is due to the fact that the melt flows toward the region with large temperature gradient under the influence of Marangoni convection and solidifies together with the melt at the end of the bath. At this point, the temperature gradient at the front of the bath is significantly larger than at the end. While the width of the molten pool was gradually reduced, the shape of the molten pool was gradually changed to a “comet” shape. In addition, a slight depression was observed at the top of the bath because the peak temperature at the surface of the bath reached the evaporation temperature, which resulted in a recoil pressure perpendicular to the surface of the bath downward, creating a depressed region. As the laser focal spot moves and is paired with the Marangoni convection of the melt, these recessed areas will be filled in as shown in Fig. 7(c). It has been shown that the depressed regions are the result of the coupled effect of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension.79 By t = 500 μs, the width and height of the molten pool stabilize and show a “comet” shape in Fig. 7(d).

FIG. 7.

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Single-track molten pool process: (a) t = 50  ��⁠, (b) t = 150  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 500  ��⁠.

Figure 8 depicts the velocity vector diagram of the P1 profile in a single-track molten pool, the length of the arrows represents the magnitude of the velocity, and the maximum velocity is about 2.36 m/s. When t = 50 μs, the molten pool takes shape, and the velocities at the two ends of the pool are the largest. The variation of the velocities at the front end is especially more significant in Fig. 8(a). As the time advances to t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands rapidly, in which the velocity at the tail increases and changes more significantly, while the velocity at the front is relatively small. At this stage, the melt moves backward from the center of the molten pool, which in turn expands the molten pool area. The melt at the back end of the molten pool center flows backward along the edge of the molten pool surface and then converges along the edge of the molten pool to the bottom center, rising to form a closed loop. Similarly, a similar closed loop is formed at the front end of the center of the bath, but with a shorter path. However, a large portion of the melt in the center of the closed loop formed at the front end of the bath is in a nearly stationary state. The main cause of this melt flow phenomenon is the effect of temperature gradient and surface tension (the Marangoni effect), as shown in Figs. 8(b) and 8(e). This dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” pool. At t = 300 μs, the tendency of the above two melt flows to close the loop is more prominent and faster in Fig. 8(c). When t = 500 μs, the velocity vector of the molten pool shows a stable trend, and the closed loop of melt flow also remains stable. With the gradual laser focal spot movement, the melt is gradually solidified at its tail, and finally, a continuous and stable single track is formed in Fig. 8(d).

FIG. 8.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Vector plot of single-track molten pool velocity in XZ longitudinal section: (a) t = 50  ��⁠, (b) t = 150  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 500  ��⁠, (e) molten pool flow.

In order to explore in depth the transient evolution of the molten pool, the evolution of the single-track temperature field and the melt flow was monitored in the YZ cross section. Figure 9(a) shows the state of the powder bed at the initial moment. When t = 250 μs, the laser focal spot acts on the powder bed and the powder starts to melt and gradually collects in the molten pool. At this time, the substrate will also start to melt, and the melt flow mainly moves in the downward and outward directions and the velocity is maximum at the edges in Fig. 9(b). When t = 300 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool increase due to the recoil pressure. At this time, the melt flows more slowly at the center, but the direction of motion is still downward in Fig. 9(c). When t = 350 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool further increase, at which time the intensity of the melt flow reaches its peak and the direction of motion remains the same in Fig. 9(d). When t = 400 μs, the melt starts to move upward, and the surrounding powder or molten material gradually fills up, causing the surface of the molten pool to begin to flatten. At this time, the maximum velocity of the melt is at the center of the bath, while the velocity at the edge is close to zero, and the edge of the melt starts to solidify in Fig. 9(e). When t = 450 μs, the melt continues to move upward, forming a convex surface of the melt track. However, the melt movement slows down, as shown in Fig. 9(f). When t = 500 μs, the melt further moves upward and its speed gradually becomes smaller. At the same time, the melt solidifies further, as shown in Fig. 9(g). When t = 550 μs, the melt track is basically formed into a single track with a similar “mountain” shape. At this stage, the velocity is close to zero only at the center of the molten pool, and the flow behavior of the melt is poor in Fig. 9(h). At t = 600 μs, the melt stops moving and solidification is rapidly completed. Up to this point, a single track is formed in Fig. 9(i). During the laser action on the powder bed, the substrate melts and combines with the molten state powder. The powder-to-powder fusion is like the convergence of water droplets, which are rapidly fused by surface tension. However, the fusion between the molten state powder and the substrate occurs driven by surface tension, and the molten powder around the molten pool is pulled toward the substrate (a wetting effect occurs), which ultimately results in the formation of a monolithic whole.38,80,81

FIG. 9.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Evolution of single-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 0  ��⁠, (b) t = 250  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 350  ��⁠, (e) t = 400  ��⁠, (f) t = 450  ��⁠, (g) t = 500  ��⁠, (h) t = 550  ��⁠, (i) t = 600  ��⁠.

The wetting ability between the liquid metal and the solid substrate in the molten pool directly affects the degree of balling of the melt,82,83 and the wetting ability can be measured by the contact angle of a single track in Fig. 10. A smaller value of contact angle represents better wettability. The contact angle α can be calculated by�=�1−�22,

(17)

where �1 and �2 are the contact angles of the left and right regions, respectively.

FIG. 10.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic of contact angle.

Relevant studies have confirmed that the wettability is better at a contact angle α around or below 40°.84 After measurement, a single-track contact angle α of about 33° was obtained under this process parameter, which further confirms the good wettability.

B. Double-track simulation

In order to deeply investigate the influence of hatch spacing on the characteristics of the HP-LPBF process, a series of double-track molten pool simulation experiments were systematically carried out. Figure 11 shows in detail the dynamic changes of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool in the time period of 2050–2500 μs under the conditions of laser power of 100 W, scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. By comparing the study with Fig. 7, it is observed that the basic characteristics of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track. However, there are subtle differences between them. The first track exhibits a basically symmetric shape, but the second track morphology shows a slight deviation influenced by the difference in thermal diffusion rate between the solidified metal and the powder. Otherwise, the other characteristic information is almost the same as that of the first track. Figure 12 shows the velocity vector plot of the P2 profile in the double-track molten pool, with a maximum velocity of about 2.63 m/s. The melt dynamics at both ends of the pool are more stable at t = 2050 μs, where the maximum rate of the second track is only 1/3 of that of the first one. Other than that, the rest of the information is almost no significant difference from the characteristic information of the first track. Figure 13 demonstrates a detailed observation of the double-track temperature field and melts flow in the YZ cross section, and a comparative study with Fig. 9 reveals that the width of the second track is slightly wider. In addition, after the melt direction shifts from bottom to top, the first track undergoes four time periods (50 μs) to reach full solidification, while the second track takes five time periods. This is due to the presence of significant heat buildup in the powder bed after the forming of the first track, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt and an increased molten pool lifetime. In conclusion, the level of specimen forming can be significantly optimized by adjusting the laser power and hatch spacing.

FIG. 11.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Double-track molten pool process: (a) t = 2050  ��⁠, (b) t = 2150  ��⁠, (c) t = 2300  ��⁠, (d) t = 2500  ��⁠.

FIG. 12.

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Vector plot of double-track molten pool velocity in XZ longitudinal section: (a) t = 2050  ��⁠, (b) t = 2150  ��⁠, (c) t = 2300  ��⁠, (d) t = 2500  ��⁠.

FIG. 13.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Evolution of double-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 2250  ��⁠, (b) t = 2300  ��⁠, (c) t = 2350  ��⁠, (d) t = 2400  ��⁠, (e) t = 2450  ��⁠, (f) t = 2500  ��⁠, (g) t = 2550  ��⁠, (h) t = 2600  ��⁠, (i) t = 2650  ��⁠.

In order to quantitatively detect the molten pool dimensions as well as the remolten region dimensions, the molten pool characterization information in Fig. 14 is constructed by drawing the boundary on the YZ cross section based on the isothermal surface of the liquid phase line. It can be observed that the heights of the first track and second track are basically the same, but the depth of the second track increases relative to the first track. The molten pool width is mainly positively correlated with the laser power as well as the scanning speed (the laser line energy density �⁠). However, the remelted zone width is negatively correlated with the hatch spacing (the overlapping ratio). Overall, the forming quality of the specimens can be directly influenced by adjusting the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing.

FIG. 14.

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Double-track molten pool characterization information on YZ cross section.

In order to study the variation rule of the temperature in the center of the molten pool with time, Fig. 15 demonstrates the temperature variation curves with time for two reference points, A and B. Among them, the red dotted line indicates the liquid phase line temperature of SS316L. From the figure, it can be seen that the maximum temperature at the center of the molten pool in the first track is lower than that in the second track, which is mainly due to the heat accumulation generated after passing through the first track. The maximum temperature gradient was calculated to be 1.69 × 108 K/s. When the laser scanned the first track, the temperature in the center of the molten pool of the second track increased slightly. Similarly, when the laser scanned the second track, a similar situation existed in the first track. Since the temperature gradient in the second track is larger than that in the first track, the residence time of the liquid phase in the molten pool of the first track is longer than that of the second track.

FIG. 15.

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Temperature profiles as a function of time for two reference points A and B.

C. Simulation analysis of molten pool under different process parameters

In order to deeply investigate the effects of various process parameters on the mesoscopic-scale temperature field, molten pool characteristic information and defects of HP-LPBF, numerical simulation experiments on mesoscopic-scale laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing of double-track molten pools were carried out.

1. Laser power

Figure 16 shows the effects of different laser power on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. When P = 50 W, a smaller molten pool is formed due to the lower heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time. This leads to a smaller track width, which results in adjacent track not lapping properly and the presence of a large number of unmelted powder particles, resulting in an increase in the number of defects, such as pores in the specimen. The surface of the track is relatively flat, and the depth is small. In addition, the temperature gradient before and after the molten pool was large, and the depression location appeared at the biased front end in Fig. 16(a). When P = 100 W, the surface of the track is flat and smooth with excellent lap. Due to the Marangoni effect, the velocity field of the molten pool is in the form of “vortex,” and the melt has good fluidity, and the maximum velocity reaches 2.15 m/s in Fig. 16(b). When P = 200 W, the heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time is too large, resulting in the melt rapidly reaching the evaporation temperature, generating a huge recoil pressure, forming a large molten pool, and the surface of the track is obviously raised. The melt movement is intense, especially the closed loop at the center end of the molten pool. At this time, the depth and width of the molten pool are large, leading to the expansion of the remolten region and the increased chance of the appearance of porosity defects in Fig. 16(c). The results show that at low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool is dominant. At high laser power, recoil pressure is its main role.

FIG. 16.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different laser powers: (a) P = 50 W, (b) P = 100 W, (c) P = 200 W.

Table II shows the effect of different laser powers on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. The negative overlapping ratio in the table indicates that the melt tracks are not lapped, and 26/29 indicates the melt depth of the first track/second track. It can be seen that with the increase in laser power, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, and remelted zone show a gradual increase. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also increases. Especially in the process of laser power from 50 to 200 W, the melting depth and melting width increased the most, which increased nearly 2 and 1.5 times, respectively. Meanwhile, the overlapping ratio also increases with the increase in laser power, which indicates that the melting and fusion of materials are better at high laser power. On the other hand, the dimensions of the molten pool did not change uniformly with the change of laser power. Specifically, the depth-to-width ratio of the molten pool increased from about 0.30 to 0.39 during the increase from 50 to 120 W, which further indicates that the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is greater than that in the horizontal direction with the increase in laser power. This dimensional response to laser power is mainly affected by the recoil pressure and also by the difference in the densification degree between the powder layer and the metal substrate. In addition, according to the experimental results, the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then decrease during the process of laser power increase, and always stays within the range of less than 33°. Therefore, in practical applications, it is necessary to select the appropriate laser power according to the specific needs in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE II.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different laser powers.

Laser power (W)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
50 16 54 11 −10 23 
100 26/29 74 14 18 23.33 33 
200 37/45 116 21 52 93.33 28 

2. Scanning speed

Figure 17 demonstrates the effect of different scanning speeds on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a laser power of 100 W and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. With the gradual increase in scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. When � = 200 mm/s, the slow scanning speed causes the material to absorb too much heat, which is very easy to trigger the overburning phenomenon. At this point, the molten pool is larger and the surface morphology is uneven. This situation is consistent with the previously discussed scenario with high laser power in Fig. 17(a). However, when � = 1600 mm/s, the scanning speed is too fast, resulting in the material not being able to absorb sufficient heat, which triggers the powder particles that fail to melt completely to have a direct effect on the bonding of the melt to the substrate. At this time, the molten pool volume is relatively small and the neighboring melt track cannot lap properly. This result is consistent with the previously discussed case of low laser power in Fig. 17(b). Overall, the ratio of the laser power to the scanning speed (the line energy density �⁠) has a direct effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

FIG. 17.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different scanning speed: (a)  � = 200 mm/s, (b)  � = 1600 mm/s.

Table III shows the effects of different scanning speed on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. It can be seen that the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. With the increase in scanning speed, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remelted zone, and overlapping ratio show a gradual decreasing trend. Among them, the melt depth and melt width decreased faster, while the melt height and remolten region decreased relatively slowly. In addition, when the scanning speed was increased from 200 to 800 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were significantly accelerated, while the decreasing speeds of overlapping ratio were relatively slow. When the scanning speed was further increased to 1600 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were further accelerated, and the un-lapped condition of the melt channel also appeared. In addition, the contact angle increases and then decreases with the scanning speed, and both are lower than 33°. Therefore, when selecting the scanning speed, it is necessary to make reasonable trade-offs according to the specific situation, and take into account the factors of melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio, in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE III.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different scanning speeds.

Scanning speed (mm/s)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
200 55/68 182 19/32 124 203.33 22 
1600 13 50 11 −16.67 31 

3. Hatch spacing

Figure 18 shows the effect of different hatch spacing on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The surface morphology and temperature field of the first track and second track are basically the same, but slightly different. The first track shows a basically symmetric morphology along the scanning direction, while the second track shows a slight offset due to the difference in the heat transfer rate between the solidified material and the powder particles. When the hatch spacing is too small, the overlapping ratio increases and the probability of defects caused by remelting phenomenon grows. When the hatch spacing is too large, the neighboring melt track cannot overlap properly, and the powder particles are not completely melted, leading to an increase in the number of holes. In conclusion, the ratio of the line energy density � to the hatch spacing (the volume energy density E) has a significant effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

FIG. 18.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different hatch spacings: (a) H = 0.03 mm, (b) H = 0.12 mm.

Table IV shows the effects of different hatch spacing on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. It can be seen that the hatch spacing has little effect on the melt depth, melt width, and melt height, but has some effect on the remolten region. With the gradual expansion of hatch spacing, the remolten region shows a gradual decrease. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also decreased with the increase in hatch spacing. In addition, it is observed that the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then remain stable when the hatch spacing increases, which has a more limited effect on it. Therefore, trade-offs and decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis when selecting the hatch spacing.

TABLE IV.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different hatch spacings.

Hatch spacing (mm)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
0.03 25/27 82 14 59 173.33 30 
0.12 26 78 14 −35 33 

In summary, the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing have a significant effect on the formation of the molten pool, and the correct selection of these three process parameters is crucial to ensure the forming quality. In addition, the melt depth of the second track is slightly larger than that of the first track at higher line energy density � and volume energy density E. This is mainly due to the fact that a large amount of heat accumulation is generated after the first track, forming a larger molten pool volume, which leads to an increase in the melt depth.

D. Simulation analysis of molten pool with powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter

Figure 19 demonstrates the effect of different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under a laser power of 100 W, a scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. In the process of melting coarse powder with small laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy cannot completely melt the larger powder particles, resulting in their partial melting and further generating excessive pore defects. The larger powder particles tend to generate zigzag molten pool edges, which cause an increase in the roughness of the melt track surface. In addition, the molten pool is also prone to generate the present spatter phenomenon, which can directly affect the quality of forming. The volume of the formed molten pool is relatively small, while the melt depth, melt width, and melt height are all smaller relative to the fine powder in Fig. 19(a). In the process of melting fine powders with a large laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy is able to melt the fine powder particles sufficiently, even to the point of overmelting. This results in a large number of fine spatters being generated at the edge of the molten pool, which causes porosity defects in the melt track in Fig. 19(b). In addition, the maximum velocity of the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes compared to small powder particle sizes, which indicates that the temperature gradient in the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes and the melt motion is more intense. However, the size of the laser focal spot diameter has a relatively small effect on the melt motion. However, a larger focal spot diameter induces a larger melt volume with greater depth, width, and height. In conclusion, a small powder size helps to reduce the surface roughness of the specimen, and a small laser spot diameter reduces the minimum forming size of a single track.

FIG. 19.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool with different powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter: (a) focal spot = 25 μm, coarse powder, (b) focal spot = 80 μm, fine powder.

Table V shows the maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder sizes and laser focal spot diameters. As can be seen from the table, the maximum temperature gradient is lower than that of HP-LPBF for both coarse powders with a small laser spot diameter and fine powders with a large spot diameter, a phenomenon that leads to an increase in the heat transfer rate of HP-LPBF, which in turn leads to a corresponding increase in the cooling rate and, ultimately, to the formation of finer microstructures.

TABLE V.

Maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters.

Laser power (W)Scanning speed (mm/s)Hatch spacing (mm)Average powder size (μm)Laser focal spot diameter (μm)Maximum temperature gradient (×107 K/s)
100 800 0.06 31.7 25 7.89 
11.5 80 7.11 

IV. CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the geometrical characteristics of 3D coarse and fine powder particles were first calculated using DEM and then numerical simulations of single track and double track in the process of forming SS316L from monolayer HP-LPBF at mesoscopic scale were developed using CFD method. The effects of Marangoni convection, surface tension, recoil pressure, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool were considered in this model. The effects of laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing on the dynamics of the single-track and double-track molten pools, as well as on other characteristic information, were investigated. The effects of the powder particle size on the molten pool were investigated comparatively with the laser focal spot diameter. The main conclusions are as follows:

  1. The results show that the temperature gradient at the front of the molten pool is significantly larger than that at the tail, and the molten pool exhibits a “comet” morphology. At the top of the molten pool, there is a slightly concave region, which is the result of the coupling of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension. The melt flow forms two closed loops, which are mainly influenced by temperature gradients and surface tension. This special dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” molten pool and an almost “mountain” shape in single-track forming.
  2. The basic characteristics of the three-dimensional morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track, but there are subtle differences. The first track exhibits a basically symmetrical shape; however, due to the difference in thermal diffusion rates between the solidified metal and the powder, a slight asymmetry in the molten pool morphology of the second track occurs. After forming through the first track, there is a significant heat buildup in the powder bed, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt, which increases the life of the molten pool. The heights of the first track and second track remained essentially the same, but the depth of the second track was greater relative to the first track. In addition, the maximum temperature gradient was 1.69 × 108 K/s during HP-LPBF forming.
  3. At low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool plays a dominant role. At high laser power, recoil pressure becomes the main influencing factor. With the increase of laser power, the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is superior to that in the horizontal direction. With the gradual increase of scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. In addition, the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. Too large or too small hatch spacing will lead to remelting or non-lap phenomenon, which in turn causes the formation of defects.
  4. When using a small laser focal spot diameter, it is difficult to completely melt large powder particle sizes, resulting in partial melting and excessive porosity generation. At the same time, large powder particles produce curved edges of the molten pool, resulting in increased surface roughness of the melt track. In addition, spatter occurs, which directly affects the forming quality. At small focal spot diameters, the molten pool volume is relatively small, and the melt depth, the melt width, and the melt height are correspondingly small. Taken together, the small powder particle size helps to reduce surface roughness, while the small spot diameter reduces the forming size.

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비선형 파력의 영향에 따른 잔해 언덕 방파제 형상의 효과에 대한 수치 분석

비선형 파력의 영향에 따른 잔해 언덕 방파제 형상의 효과에 대한 수치 분석

Numerical Analysis of the Effects of Rubble Mound Breakwater Geometry Under the Effect of Nonlinear Wave Force

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Abstract

Assessing the interaction of waves and porous offshore structures such as rubble mound breakwaters plays a critical role in designing such structures optimally. This study focused on the effect of the geometric parameters of a sloped rubble mound breakwater, including the shape of the armour, method of its arrangement, and the breakwater slope. Thus, three main design criteria, including the wave reflection coefficient (Kr), transmission coefficient (Kt), and depreciation wave energy coefficient (Kd), are discussed. Based on the results, a decrease in wavelength reduced the Kr and increased the Kt and Kd. The rubble mound breakwater with the Coreloc armour layer could exhibit the lowest Kr compared to other armour geometries. In addition, a decrease in the breakwater slope reduced the Kr and Kd by 3.4 and 1.25%, respectively. In addition, a decrease in the breakwater slope from 33 to 25° increased the wave breaking height by 6.1% on average. Further, a decrease in the breakwater slope reduced the intensity of turbulence depreciation. Finally, the armour geometry and arrangement of armour layers on the breakwater with its different slopes affect the wave behaviour and interaction between the wave and breakwater. Thus, layering on the breakwater and the correct use of the geometric shapes of the armour should be considered when designing such structures.

파도와 잔해 더미 방파제와 같은 다공성 해양 구조물의 상호 작용을 평가하는 것은 이러한 구조물을 최적으로 설계하는 데 중요한 역할을 합니다. 본 연구는 경사진 잔해 둔덕 방파제의 기하학적 매개변수의 효과에 초점을 맞추었는데, 여기에는 갑옷의 형태, 배치 방법, 방파제 경사 등이 포함된다. 따라서 파동 반사 계수(Kr), 투과 계수(Kt) 및 감가상각파 에너지 계수(Kd)에 대해 논의합니다. 결과에 따르면 파장이 감소하면 K가 감소합니다.r그리고 K를 증가시켰습니다t 및 Kd. Coreloc 장갑 층이 있는 잔해 언덕 방파제는 가장 낮은 K를 나타낼 수 있습니다.r 다른 갑옷 형상과 비교했습니다. 또한 방파제 경사가 감소하여 K가 감소했습니다.r 및 Kd 각각 3.4%, 1.25% 증가했다. 또한 방파제 경사가 33°에서 25°로 감소하여 파도 파쇄 높이가 평균 6.1% 증가했습니다. 또한, 방파제 경사의 감소는 난류 감가상각의 강도를 감소시켰다. 마지막으로, 경사가 다른 방파제의 장갑 형상과 장갑 층의 배열은 파도 거동과 파도와 방파제 사이의 상호 작용에 영향을 미칩니다. 따라서 이러한 구조를 설계 할 때 방파제에 층을 쌓고 갑옷의 기하학적 모양을 올바르게 사용하는 것을 고려해야합니다.

Keywords

  • Rubble mound breakwater
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Armour layer
  • Wave reflection coefficient
  • Wave transmission coefficient
  • Wave energy dissipation coefficient

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Predicting solid-state phase transformations during metal additive manufacturing: A case study on electron-beam powder bed fusion of Inconel-738

Predicting solid-state phase transformations during metal additive manufacturing: A case study on electron-beam powder bed fusion of Inconel-738

금속 적층 제조 중 고체 상 변형 예측: Inconel-738의 전자빔 분말층 융합에 대한 사례 연구

Nana Kwabena Adomako a, Nima Haghdadi a, James F.L. Dingle bc, Ernst Kozeschnik d, Xiaozhou Liao bc, Simon P. Ringer bc, Sophie Primig a

Abstract

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) has now become the perhaps most desirable technique for producing complex shaped engineering parts. However, to truly take advantage of its capabilities, advanced control of AM microstructures and properties is required, and this is often enabled via modeling. The current work presents a computational modeling approach to studying the solid-state phase transformation kinetics and the microstructural evolution during AM. Our approach combines thermal and thermo-kinetic modelling. A semi-analytical heat transfer model is employed to simulate the thermal history throughout AM builds. Thermal profiles of individual layers are then used as input for the MatCalc thermo-kinetic software. The microstructural evolution (e.g., fractions, morphology, and composition of individual phases) for any region of interest throughout the build is predicted by MatCalc. The simulation is applied to an IN738 part produced by electron beam powder bed fusion to provide insights into how γ′ precipitates evolve during thermal cycling. Our simulations show qualitative agreement with our experimental results in predicting the size distribution of γ′ along the build height, its multimodal size character, as well as the volume fraction of MC carbides. Our findings indicate that our method is suitable for a range of AM processes and alloys, to predict and engineer their microstructures and properties.

Graphical Abstract

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Keywords

Additive manufacturing, Simulation, Thermal cycles, γ′ phase, IN738

1. Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM) is an advanced manufacturing method that enables engineering parts with intricate shapes to be fabricated with high efficiency and minimal materials waste. AM involves building up 3D components layer-by-layer from feedstocks such as powder [1]. Various alloys, including steel, Ti, Al, and Ni-based superalloys, have been produced using different AM techniques. These techniques include directed energy deposition (DED), electron- and laser powder bed fusion (E-PBF and L-PBF), and have found applications in a variety of industries such as aerospace and power generation [2][3][4]. Despite the growing interest, certain challenges limit broader applications of AM fabricated components in these industries and others. One of such limitations is obtaining a suitable and reproducible microstructure that offers the desired mechanical properties consistently. In fact, the AM as-built microstructure is highly complex and considerably distinctive from its conventionally processed counterparts owing to the complicated thermal cycles arising from the deposition of several layers upon each other [5][6].

Several studies have reported that the solid-state phases and solidification microstructure of AM processed alloys such as CMSX-4, CoCr [7][8], Ti-6Al-4V [9][10][11]IN738 [6]304L stainless steel [12], and IN718 [13][14] exhibit considerable variations along the build direction. For instance, references [9][10] have reported that there is a variation in the distribution of α and β phases along the build direction in Ti-alloys. Similarly, the microstructure of an L-PBF fabricated martensitic steel exhibits variations in the fraction of martensite [15]. Furthermore, some of the present authors and others [6][16][17][18][19][20] have recently reviewed and reported that there is a difference in the morphology and fraction of nanoscale precipitates as a function of build height in Ni-based superalloys. These non-uniformities in the as-built microstructure result in an undesired heterogeneity in mechanical and other important properties such as corrosion and oxidation [19][21][22][23]. To obtain the desired microstructure and properties, additional processing treatments are utilized, but this incurs extra costs and may lead to precipitation of detrimental phases and grain coarsening. Therefore, a through-process understanding of the microstructure evolution under repeated heating and cooling is now needed to further advance 3D printed microstructure and property control.

It is now commonly understood that the microstructure evolution during printing is complex, and most AM studies concentrate on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the final build only. Post-printing studies of microstructure characteristics at room temperature miss crucial information on how they evolve. In-situ measurements and modelling approaches are required to better understand the complex microstructural evolution under repeated heating and cooling. Most in-situ measurements in AM focus on monitoring the microstructural changes, such as phase transformations and melt pool dynamics during fabrication using X-ray scattering and high-speed X-ray imaging [24][25][26][27]. For example, Zhao et al. [25] measured the rate of solidification and described the α/β phase transformation during L-PBF of Ti-6Al-4V in-situ. Also, Wahlmann et al. [21] recently used an L-PBF machine coupled with X-ray scattering to investigate the changes in CMSX-4 phase during successive melting processes. Although these techniques provide significant understanding of the basic principles of AM, they are not widely accessible. This is due to the great cost of the instrument, competitive application process, and complexities in terms of the experimental set-up, data collection, and analysis [26][28].

Computational modeling techniques are promising and more widely accessible tools that enable advanced understanding, prediction, and engineering of microstructures and properties during AM. So far, the majority of computational studies have concentrated on physics based process models for metal AM, with the goal of predicting the temperature profile, heat transfer, powder dynamics, and defect formation (e.g., porosity) [29][30]. In recent times, there have been efforts in modeling of the AM microstructure evolution using approaches such as phase-field [31], Monte Carlo (MC) [32], and cellular automata (CA) [33], coupled with finite element simulations for temperature profiles. However, these techniques are often restricted to simulating the evolution of solidification microstructures (e.g., grain and dendrite structure) and defects (e.g., porosity). For example, Zinovieva et al. [33] predicted the grain structure of L-PBF Ti-6Al-4V using finite difference and cellular automata methods. However, studies on the computational modelling of the solid-state phase transformations, which largely determine the resulting properties, remain limited. This can be attributed to the multi-component and multi-phase nature of most engineering alloys in AM, along with the complex transformation kinetics during thermal cycling. This kind of research involves predictions of the thermal cycle in AM builds, and connecting it to essential thermodynamic and kinetic data as inputs for the model. Based on the information provided, the thermokinetic model predicts the history of solid-state phase microstructure evolution during deposition as output. For example, a multi-phase, multi-component mean-field model has been developed to simulate the intermetallic precipitation kinetics in IN718 [34] and IN625 [35] during AM. Also, Basoalto et al. [36] employed a computational framework to examine the contrasting distributions of process-induced microvoids and precipitates in two Ni-based superalloys, namely IN718 and CM247LC. Furthermore, McNamara et al. [37] established a computational model based on the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami model for non-isothermal conditions to predict solid-state phase transformation kinetics in L-PBF IN718 and DED Ti-6Al-4V. These models successfully predicted the size and volume fraction of individual phases and captured the repeated nucleation and dissolution of precipitates that occur during AM.

In the current study, we propose a modeling approach with appreciably short computational time to investigate the detailed microstructural evolution during metal AM. This may include obtaining more detailed information on the morphologies of phases, such as size distribution, phase fraction, dissolution and nucleation kinetics, as well as chemistry during thermal cycling and final cooling to room temperature. We utilize the combination of the MatCalc thermo-kinetic simulator and a semi-analytical heat conduction model. MatCalc is a software suite for simulation of phase transformations, microstructure evolution and certain mechanical properties in engineering alloys. It has successfully been employed to simulate solid-state phase transformations in Ni-based superalloys [38][39], steels [40], and Al alloys [41] during complex thermo-mechanical processes. MatCalc uses the classical nucleation theory as well as the so-called Svoboda-Fischer-Fratzl-Kozeschnik (SFFK) growth model as the basis for simulating precipitation kinetics [42]. Although MatCalc was originally developed for conventional thermo-mechanical processes, we will show that it is also applicable for AM if the detailed time-temperature profile of the AM build is known. The semi-analytical heat transfer code developed by Stump and Plotkowski [43] is used to simulate these profile throughout the AM build.

1.1. Application to IN738

Inconel-738 (IN738) is a precipitation hardening Ni-based superalloy mainly employed in high-temperature components, e.g. in gas turbines and aero-engines owing to its exceptional mechanical properties at temperatures up to 980 °C, coupled with high resistance to oxidation and corrosion [44]. Its superior high-temperature strength (∼1090 MPa tensile strength) is provided by the L12 ordered Ni3(Al,Ti) γ′ phase that precipitates in a face-centered cubic (FCC) γ matrix [45][46]. Despite offering great properties, IN738, like most superalloys with high γ′ fractions, is challenging to process owing to its propensity to hot cracking [47][48]. Further, machining of such alloys is challenging because of their high strength and work-hardening rates. It is therefore difficult to fabricate complex INC738 parts using traditional manufacturing techniques like casting, welding, and forging.

The emergence of AM has now made it possible to fabricate such parts from IN738 and other superalloys. Some of the current authors’ recent research successfully applied E-PBF to fabricate defect-free IN738 containing γ′ throughout the build [16][17]. The precipitated γ′ were heterogeneously distributed. In particular, Haghdadi et al. [16] studied the origin of the multimodal size distribution of γ′, while Lim et al. [17] investigated the gradient in γ′ character with build height and its correlation to mechanical properties. Based on these results, the present study aims to extend the understanding of the complex and site-specific microstructural evolution in E-PBF IN738 by using a computational modelling approach. New experimental evidence (e.g., micrographs not published previously) is presented here to support the computational results.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Materials preparation

IN738 Ni-based superalloy (59.61Ni-8.48Co-7.00Al-17.47Cr-3.96Ti-1.01Mo-0.81W-0.56Ta-0.49Nb-0.47C-0.09Zr-0.05B, at%) gas-atomized powder was used as feedstock. The powders, with average size of 60 ± 7 µm, were manufactured by Praxair and distributed by Astro Alloys Inc. An Arcam Q10 machine by GE Additive with an acceleration voltage of 60 kV was used to fabricate a 15 × 15 × 25 mm3 block (XYZ, Z: build direction) on a 316 stainless steel substrate. The block was 3D-printed using a ‘random’ spot melt pattern. The random spot melt pattern involves randomly selecting points in any given layer, with an equal chance of each point being melted. Each spot melt experienced a dwell time of 0.3 ms, and the layer thickness was 50 µm. Some of the current authors have previously characterized the microstructure of the very same and similar builds in more detail [16][17]. A preheat temperature of ∼1000 °C was set and kept during printing to reduce temperature gradients and, in turn, thermal stresses [49][50][51]. Following printing, the build was separated from the substrate through electrical discharge machining. It should be noted that this sample was simultaneously printed with the one used in [17] during the same build process and on the same build plate, under identical conditions.

2.2. Microstructural characterization

The printed sample was longitudinally cut in the direction of the build using a Struers Accutom-50, ground, and then polished to 0.25 µm suspension via standard techniques. The polished x-z surface was electropolished and etched using Struers A2 solution (perchloric acid in ethanol). Specimens for image analysis were polished using a 0.06 µm colloidal silica. Microstructure analyses were carried out across the height of the build using optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with focus on the microstructure evolution (γ′ precipitates) in individual layers. The position of each layer being analyzed was determined by multiplying the layer number by the layer thickness (50 µm). It should be noted that the position of the first layer starts where the thermal profile is tracked (in this case, 2 mm from the bottom). SEM images were acquired using a JEOL 7001 field emission microscope. The brightness and contrast settings, acceleration voltage of 15 kV, working distance of 10 mm, and other SEM imaging parameters were all held constant for analysis of the entire build. The ImageJ software was used for automated image analysis to determine the phase fraction and size of γ′ precipitates and carbides. A 2-pixel radius Gaussian blur, following a greyscale thresholding and watershed segmentation was used [52]. Primary γ′ sizes (>50 nm), were measured using equivalent spherical diameters. The phase fractions were considered equal to the measured area fraction. Secondary γ′ particles (<50 nm) were not considered here. The γ′ size in the following refers to the diameter of a precipitate.

2.3. Hardness testing

A Struers DuraScan tester was utilized for Vickers hardness mapping on a polished x-z surface, from top to bottom under a maximum load of 100 mN and 10 s dwell time. 30 micro-indentations were performed per row. According to the ASTM standard [53], the indentations were sufficiently distant (∼500 µm) to assure that strain-hardened areas did not interfere with one another.

2.4. Computational simulation of E-PBF IN738 build

2.4.1. Thermal profile modeling

The thermal history was generated using the semi-analytical heat transfer code (also known as the 3DThesis code) developed by Stump and Plotkowski [43]. This code is an open-source C++ program which provides a way to quickly simulate the conductive heat transfer found in welding and AM. The key use case for the code is the simulation of larger domains than is practicable with Computational Fluid Dynamics/Finite Element Analysis programs like FLOW-3D AM. Although simulating conductive heat transfer will not be an appropriate simplification for some investigations (for example the modelling of keyholding or pore formation), the 3DThesis code does provide fast estimates of temperature, thermal gradient, and solidification rate which can be useful for elucidating microstructure formation across entire layers of an AM build. The mathematics involved in the code is as follows:

In transient thermal conduction during welding and AM, with uniform and constant thermophysical properties and without considering fluid convection and latent heat effects, energy conservation can be expressed as:(1)��∂�∂�=�∇2�+�̇where � is density, � specific heat, � temperature, � time, � thermal conductivity, and �̇ a volumetric heat source. By assuming a semi-infinite domain, Eq. 1 can be analytically solved. The solution for temperature at a given time (t) using a volumetric Gaussian heat source is presented as:(2)��,�,�,�−�0=33�����32∫0�1������exp−3�′�′2��+�′�′2��+�′�′2����′(3)and��=12��−�′+��2for�=�,�,�(4)and�′�′=�−���′Where � is the vector �,�,� and �� is the location of the heat source.

The numerical integration scheme used is an adaptive Gaussian quadrature method based on the following nondimensionalization:(5)�=��xy2�,�′=��xy2�′,�=��xy,�=��xy,�=��xy,�=���xy

A more detailed explanation of the mathematics can be found in reference [43].

The main source of the thermal cycling present within a powder-bed fusion process is the fusion of subsequent layers. Therefore, regions near the top of a build are expected to undergo fewer thermal cycles than those closer to the bottom. For this purpose, data from the single scan’s thermal influence on multiple layers was spliced to represent the thermal cycles experienced at a single location caused by multiple subsequent layers being fused.

The cross-sectional area simulated by this model was kept constant at 1 × 1 mm2, and the depth was dependent on the build location modelled with MatCalc. For a build location 2 mm from the bottom, the maximum number of layers to simulate is 460. Fig. 1a shows a stitched overview OM image of the entire build indicating the region where this thermal cycle is simulated and tracked. To increase similarity with the conditions of the physical build, each thermal history was constructed from the results of two simulations generated with different versions of a random scan path. The parameters used for these thermal simulations can be found in Table 1. It should be noted that the main purpose of the thermal profile modelling was to demonstrate how the conditions at different locations of the build change relative to each other. Accurately predicting the absolute temperature during the build would require validation via a temperature sensor measurement during the build process which is beyond the scope of the study. Nonetheless, to establish the viability of the heat source as a suitable approximation for this study, an additional sensitivity analysis was conducted. This analysis focused on the influence of energy input on γ′ precipitation behavior, the central aim of this paper. This was achieved by employing varying beam absorption energies (0.76, 0.82 – the values utilized in the simulation, and 0.9). The direct impact of beam absorption efficiency on energy input into the material was investigated. Specifically, the initial 20 layers of the build were simulated and subsequently compared to experimental data derived from SEM. While phase fractions were found to be consistent across all conditions, disparities emerged in the mean size of γ′ precipitates. An absorption efficiency of 0.76 yielded a mean size of approximately 70 nm. Conversely, absorption efficiencies of 0.82 and 0.9 exhibited remarkably similar mean sizes of around 130 nm, aligning closely with the outcomes of the experiments.

Fig. 1

Table 1. A list of parameters used in thermal simulation of E-PBF.

ParameterValue
Spatial resolution5 µm
Time step0.5 s
Beam diameter200 µm
Beam penetration depth1 µm
Beam power1200 W
Beam absorption efficiency0.82
Thermal conductivity25.37 W/(m⋅K)
Chamber temperature1000 °C
Specific heat711.756 J/(kg⋅K)
Density8110 kg/m3

2.4.2. Thermo-kinetic simulation

The numerical analyses of the evolution of precipitates was performed using MatCalc version 6.04 (rel 0.011). The thermodynamic (‘mc_ni.tdb’, version 2.034) and diffusion (‘mc_ni.ddb’, version 2.007) databases were used. MatCalc’s basic principles are elaborated as follows:

The nucleation kinetics of precipitates are computed using a computational technique based on a classical nucleation theory [54] that has been modified for systems with multiple components [42][55]. Accordingly, the transient nucleation rate (�), which expresses the rate at which nuclei are formed per unit volume and time, is calculated as:(6)�=�0��*∙�xp−�*�∙�∙exp−��where �0 denotes the number of active nucleation sites, �* the rate of atomic attachment, � the Boltzmann constant, � the temperature, �* the critical energy for nucleus formation, τ the incubation time, and t the time. � (Zeldovich factor) takes into consideration that thermal excitation destabilizes the nucleus as opposed to its inactive state [54]. Z is defined as follows:(7)�=−12�kT∂2∆�∂�2�*12where ∆� is the overall change in free energy due to the formation of a nucleus and n is the nucleus’ number of atoms. ∆�’s derivative is evaluated at n* (critical nucleus size). �* accounts for the long-range diffusion of atoms required for nucleation, provided that the matrix’ and precipitates’ composition differ. Svoboda et al. [42] developed an appropriate multi-component equation for �*, which is given by:(8)�*=4��*2�4�∑�=1��ki−�0�2�0��0�−1where �* denotes the critical radius for nucleation, � represents atomic distance, and � is the molar volume. �ki and �0� represent the concentration of elements in the precipitate and matrix, respectively. The parameter �0� denotes the rate of diffusion of the ith element within the matrix. The expression for the incubation time � is expressed as [54]:(9)�=12�*�2

and �*, which represents the critical energy for nucleation:(10)�*=16�3�3∆�vol2where � is the interfacial energy, and ∆Gvol the change in the volume free energy. The critical nucleus’ composition is similar to the γ′ phase’s equilibrium composition at the same temperature. � is computed based on the precipitate and matrix compositions, using a generalized nearest neighbor broken bond model, with the assumption of interfaces being planar, sharp, and coherent [56][57][58].

In Eq. 7, it is worth noting that �* represents the fundamental variable in the nucleation theory. It contains �3/∆�vol2 and is in the exponent of the nucleation rate. Therefore, even small variations in γ and/or ∆�vol can result in notable changes in �, especially if �* is in the order of �∙�. This is demonstrated in [38] for UDIMET 720 Li during continuous cooling, where these quantities change steadily during precipitation due to their dependence on matrix’ and precipitate’s temperature and composition. In the current work, these changes will be even more significant as the system is exposed to multiple cycles of rapid cooling and heating.

Once nucleated, the growth of a precipitate is assessed using the radius and composition evolution equations developed by Svoboda et al. [42] with a mean-field method that employs the thermodynamic extremal principle. The expression for the total Gibbs free energy of a thermodynamic system G, which consists of n components and m precipitates, is given as follows:(11)�=∑���0��0�+∑�=1�4���33��+∑�=1��ki�ki+∑�=1�4���2��.

The chemical potential of component � in the matrix is denoted as �0�(�=1,…,�), while the chemical potential of component � in the precipitate is represented by �ki(�=1,…,�,�=1,…,�). These chemical potentials are defined as functions of the concentrations �ki(�=1,…,�,�=1,…,�). The interface energy density is denoted as �, and �� incorporates the effects of elastic energy and plastic work resulting from the volume change of each precipitate.

Eq. (12) establishes that the total free energy of the system in its current state relies on the independent state variables: the sizes (radii) of the precipitates �� and the concentrations of each component �ki. The remaining variables can be determined by applying the law of mass conservation to each component �. This can be represented by the equation:(12)��=�0�+∑�=1�4���33�ki,

Furthermore, the global mass conservation can be expressed by equation:(13)�=∑�=1���When a thermodynamic system transitions to a more stable state, the energy difference between the initial and final stages is dissipated. This model considers three distinct forms of dissipation effects [42]. These include dissipations caused by the movement of interfaces, diffusion within the precipitate and diffusion within the matrix.

Consequently, �̇� (growth rate) and �̇ki (chemical composition’s rate of change) of the precipitate with index � are derived from the linear system of equation system:(14)�ij��=��where �� symbolizes the rates �̇� and �̇ki [42]. Index i contains variables for precipitate radius, chemical composition, and stoichiometric boundary conditions suggested by the precipitate’s crystal structure. Eq. (10) is computed separately for every precipitate �. For a more detailed description of the formulae for the coefficients �ij and �� employed in this work please refer to [59].

The MatCalc software was used to perform the numerical time integration of �̇� and �̇ki of precipitates based on the classical numerical method by Kampmann and Wagner [60]. Detailed information on this method can be found in [61]. Using this computational method, calculations for E-PBF thermal cycles (cyclic heating and cooling) were computed and compared to experimental data. The simulation took approximately 2–4 hrs to complete on a standard laptop.

3. Results

3.1. Microstructure

Fig. 1 displays a stitched overview image and selected SEM micrographs of various γ′ morphologies and carbides after observations of the X-Z surface of the build from the top to 2 mm above the bottom. Fig. 2 depicts a graph that charts the average size and phase fraction of the primary γ′, as it changes with distance from the top to the bottom of the build. The SEM micrographs show widespread primary γ′ precipitation throughout the entire build, with the size increasing in the top to bottom direction. Particularly, at the topmost height, representing the 460th layer (Z = 22.95 mm), as seen in Fig. 1b, the average size of γ′ is 110 ± 4 nm, exhibiting spherical shapes. This is representative of the microstructure after it solidifies and cools to room temperature, without experiencing additional thermal cycles. The γ′ size slightly increases to 147 ± 6 nm below this layer and remains constant until 0.4 mm (∼453rd layer) from the top. At this position, the microstructure still closely resembles that of the 460th layer. After the 453rd layer, the γ′ size grows rapidly to ∼503 ± 19 nm until reaching the 437th layer (1.2 mm from top). The γ′ particles here have a cuboidal shape, and a small fraction is coarser than 600 nm. γ′ continue to grow steadily from this position to the bottom (23 mm from the top). A small fraction of γ′ is > 800 nm.

Fig. 2

Besides primary γ′, secondary γ′ with sizes ranging from 5 to 50 nm were also found. These secondary γ′ precipitates, as seen in Fig. 1f, were present only in the bottom and middle regions. A detailed analysis of the multimodal size distribution of γ′ can be found in [16]. There is no significant variation in the phase fraction of the γ′ along the build. The phase fraction is ∼ 52%, as displayed in Fig. 2. It is worth mentioning that the total phase fraction of γ′ was estimated based on the primary γ′ phase fraction because of the small size of secondary γ′. Spherical MC carbides with sizes ranging from 50 to 400 nm and a phase fraction of 0.8% were also observed throughout the build. The carbides are the light grey precipitates in Fig. 1g. The light grey shade of carbides in the SEM images is due to their composition and crystal structure [52]. These carbides are not visible in Fig. 1b-e because they were dissolved during electro-etching carried out after electropolishing. In Fig. 1g, however, the sample was examined directly after electropolishing, without electro-etching.

Table 2 shows the nominal and measured composition of γ′ precipitates throughout the build by atom probe microscopy as determined in our previous study [17]. No build height-dependent composition difference was observed in either of the γ′ precipitate populations. However, there was a slight disparity between the composition of primary and secondary γ′. Among the main γ′ forming elements, the primary γ′ has a high Ti concentration while secondary γ′ has a high Al concentration. A detailed description of the atom distribution maps and the proxigrams of the constituent elements of γ′ throughout the build can be found in [17].

Table 2. Bulk IN738 composition determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Compositions of γ, primary γ′, and secondary γ′ at various locations in the build measured by APT. This information is reproduced from data in Ref. [17] with permission.

at%NiCrCoAlMoWTiNbCBZrTaOthers
Bulk59.1217.478.487.001.010.813.960.490.470.050.090.560.46
γ matrix
Top50.4832.9111.591.941.390.820.440.80.030.030.020.24
Mid50.3732.6111.931.791.540.890.440.10.030.020.020.010.23
Bot48.1034.5712.082.141.430.880.480.080.040.030.010.12
Primary γ′
Top72.172.513.4412.710.250.397.780.560.030.020.050.08
Mid71.602.573.2813.550.420.687.040.730.010.030.040.04
Bot72.342.473.8612.500.260.447.460.500.050.020.020.030.04
Secondary γ′
Mid70.424.203.2314.190.631.035.340.790.030.040.040.05
Bot69.914.063.6814.320.811.045.220.650.050.100.020.11

3.2. Hardness

Fig. 3a shows the Vickers hardness mapping performed along the entire X-Z surface, while Fig. 3b shows the plot of average hardness at different build heights. This hardness distribution is consistent with the γ′ precipitate size gradient across the build direction in Fig. 1Fig. 2. The maximum hardness of ∼530 HV1 is found at ∼0.5 mm away from the top surface (Z = 22.5), where γ′ particles exhibit the smallest observed size in Fig. 2b. Further down the build (∼ 2 mm from the top), the hardness drops to the 440–490 HV1 range. This represents the region where γ′ begins to coarsen. The hardness drops further to 380–430 HV1 at the bottom of the build.

Fig. 3

3.3. Modeling of the microstructural evolution during E-PBF

3.3.1. Thermal profile modeling

Fig. 4 shows the simulated thermal profile of the E-PBF build at a location of 23 mm from the top of the build, using a semi-analytical heat conduction model. This profile consists of the time taken to deposit 460 layers until final cooling, as shown in Fig. 4a. Fig. 4b-d show the magnified regions of Fig. 4a and reveal the first 20 layers from the top, a single layer (first layer from the top), and the time taken for the build to cool after the last layer deposition, respectively.

Fig. 4

The peak temperatures experienced by previous layers decrease progressively as the number of layers increases but never fall below the build preheat temperature (1000 °C). Our simulated thermal cycle may not completely capture the complexity of the actual thermal cycle utilized in the E-PBF build. For instance, the top layer (Fig. 4c), also representing the first deposit’s thermal profile without additional cycles (from powder heating, melting, to solidification), recorded the highest peak temperature of 1390 °C. Although this temperature is above the melting range of the alloy (1230–1360 °C) [62], we believe a much higher temperature was produced by the electron beam to melt the powder. Nevertheless, the solidification temperature and dynamics are outside the scope of this study as our focus is on the solid-state phase transformations during deposition. It takes ∼25 s for each layer to be deposited and cooled to the build temperature. The interlayer dwell time is 125 s. The time taken for the build to cool to room temperature (RT) after final layer deposition is ∼4.7 hrs (17,000 s).

3.3.2. MatCalc simulation

During the MatCalc simulation, the matrix phase is defined as γ. γ′, and MC carbide are included as possible precipitates. The domain of these precipitates is set to be the matrix (γ), and nucleation is assumed to be homogenous. In homogeneous nucleation, all atoms of the unit volume are assumed to be potential nucleation sitesTable 3 shows the computational parameters used in the simulation. All other parameters were set at default values as recommended in the version 6.04.0011 of MatCalc. The values for the interfacial energies are automatically calculated according to the generalized nearest neighbor broken bond model and is one of the most outstanding features in MatCalc [56][57][58]. It should be noted that the elastic misfit strain was not included in the calculation. The output of MatCalc includes phase fraction, size, nucleation rate, and composition of the precipitates. The phase fraction in MatCalc is the volume fraction. Although the experimental phase fraction is the measured area fraction, it is relatively similar to the volume fraction. This is because of the generally larger precipitate size and similar morphology at the various locations along the build [63]. A reliable phase fraction comparison between experiment and simulation can therefore be made.

Table 3. Computational parameters used in the simulation.

Precipitation domainγ
Nucleation site γ′Bulk (homogenous)
Nucleation site MC carbideBulk (Homogenous)
Precipitates class size250
Regular solution critical temperature γ′2500 K[64]
Calculated interfacial energyγ′ = 0.080–0.140 J/m2 and MC carbide = 0.410–0.430 J/m2
3.3.2.1. Precipitate phase fraction

Fig. 5a shows the simulated phase fraction of γ′ and MC carbide during thermal cycling. Fig. 5b is a magnified view of 5a showing the simulated phase fraction at the center points of the top 70 layers, whereas Fig. 5c corresponds to the first two layers from the top. As mentioned earlier, the top layer (460th layer) represents the microstructure after solidification. The microstructure of the layers below is determined by the number of thermal cycles, which increases with distance to the top. For example, layers 459, 458, 457, up to layer 1 (region of interest) experience 1, 2, 3 and 459 thermal cycles, respectively. In the top layer in Fig. 5c, the volume fraction of γ′ and carbides increases with temperature. For γ′, it decreases to zero when the temperature is above the solvus temperature after a few seconds. Carbides, however, remain constant in their volume fraction reaching equilibrium (phase fraction ∼ 0.9%) in a short time. The topmost layer can be compared to the first deposit, and the peak in temperature symbolizes the stage where the electron beam heats the powder until melting. This means γ′ and carbide precipitation might have started in the powder particles during heating from the build temperature and electron beam until the onset of melting, where γ′ dissolves, but carbides remain stable [28].

Fig. 5

During cooling after deposition, γ′ reprecipitates at a temperature of 1085 °C, which is below its solvus temperature. As cooling progresses, the phase fraction increases steadily to ∼27% and remains constant at 1000 °C (elevated build temperature). The calculated equilibrium fraction of phases by MatCalc is used to show the complex precipitation characteristics in this alloy. Fig. 6 shows that MC carbides form during solidification at 1320 °C, followed by γ′, which precipitate when the solidified layer cools to 1140 °C. This indicates that all deposited layers might contain a negligible amount of these precipitates before subsequent layer deposition, while being at the 1000 °C build temperature or during cooling to RT. The phase diagram also shows that the equilibrium fraction of the γ′ increases as temperature decreases. For instance, at 1000, 900, and 800 °C, the phase fractions are ∼30%, 38%, and 42%, respectively.

Fig. 6

Deposition of subsequent layers causes previous layers to undergo phase transformations as they are exposed to several thermal cycles with different peak temperatures. In Fig. 5c, as the subsequent layer is being deposited, γ′ in the previous layer (459th layer) begins to dissolve as the temperature crosses the solvus temperature. This is witnessed by the reduction of the γ′ phase fraction. This graph also shows how this phase dissolves during heating. However, the phase fraction of MC carbide remains stable at high temperatures and no dissolution is seen during thermal cycling. Upon cooling, the γ′ that was dissolved during heating reprecipitates with a surge in the phase fraction until 1000 °C, after which it remains constant. This microstructure is similar to the solidification microstructure (layer 460), with a similar γ′ phase fraction (∼27%).

The complete dissolution and reprecipitation of γ′ continue for several cycles until the 50th layer from the top (layer 411), where the phase fraction does not reach zero during heating to the peak temperature (see Fig. 5d). This indicates the ‘partial’ dissolution of γ′, which continues progressively with additional layers. It should be noted that the peak temperatures for layers that underwent complete dissolution were much higher (1170–1300 °C) than the γ′ solvus.

The dissolution and reprecipitation of γ′ during thermal cycling are further confirmed in Fig. 7, which summarizes the nucleation rate, phase fraction, and concentration of major elements that form γ′ in the matrix. Fig. 7b magnifies a single layer (3rd layer from top) within the full dissolution region in Fig. 7a to help identify the nucleation and growth mechanisms. From Fig. 7b, γ′ nucleation begins during cooling whereby the nucleation rate increases to reach a maximum value of approximately 1 × 1020 m−3s−1. This fast kinetics implies that some rearrangement of atoms is required for γ′ precipitates to form in the matrix [65][66]. The matrix at this stage is in a non-equilibrium condition. Its composition is similar to the nominal composition and remains unchanged. The phase fraction remains insignificant at this stage although nucleation has started. The nucleation rate starts declining upon reaching the peak value. Simultaneously, diffusion-controlled growth of existing nuclei occurs, depleting the matrix of γ′ forming elements (Al and Ti). Thus, from (7)(11), ∆�vol continuously decreases until nucleation ceases. The growth of nuclei is witnessed by the increase in phase fraction until a constant level is reached at 27% upon cooling to and holding at build temperature. This nucleation event is repeated several times.

Fig. 7

At the onset of partial dissolution, the nucleation rate jumps to 1 × 1021 m−3s−1, and then reduces sharply at the middle stage of partial dissolution. The nucleation rate reaches 0 at a later stage. Supplementary Fig. S1 shows a magnified view of the nucleation rate, phase fraction, and thermal profile, underpinning this trend. The jump in nucleation rate at the onset is followed by a progressive reduction in the solute content of the matrix. The peak temperatures (∼1130–1160 °C) are lower than those in complete dissolution regions but still above or close to the γ′ solvus. The maximum phase fraction (∼27%) is similar to that of the complete dissolution regions. At the middle stage, the reduction in nucleation rate is accompanied by a sharp drop in the matrix composition. The γ′ fraction drops to ∼24%, where the peak temperatures of the layers are just below or at γ′ solvus. The phase fraction then increases progressively through the later stage of partial dissolution to ∼30% towards the end of thermal cycling. The matrix solute content continues to drop although no nucleation event is seen. The peak temperatures are then far below the γ′ solvus. It should be noted that the matrix concentration after complete dissolution remains constant. Upon cooling to RT after final layer deposition, the nucleation rate increases again, indicating new nucleation events. The phase fraction reaches ∼40%, with a further depletion of the matrix in major γ′ forming elements.

3.3.2.2. γ′ size distribution

Fig. 8 shows histograms of the γ′ precipitate size distributions (PSD) along the build height during deposition. These PSDs are predicted at the end of each layer of interest just before final cooling to room temperature, to separate the role of thermal cycles from final cooling on the evolution of γ′. The PSD for the top layer (layer 460) is shown in Fig. 8a (last solidified region with solidification microstructure). The γ′ size ranges from 120 to 230 nm and is similar to the 44 layers below (2.2 mm from the top).

Fig. 8

Further down the build, γ′ begins to coarsen after layer 417 (44th layer from top). Fig. 8c shows the PSD after the 44th layer, where the γ′ size exhibits two peaks at ∼120–230 and ∼300 nm, with most of the population being in the former range. This is the onset of partial dissolution where simultaneously with the reprecipitation and growth of fresh γ′, the undissolved γ′ grows rapidly through diffusive transport of atoms to the precipitates. This is shown in Fig. 8c, where the precipitate class sizes between 250 and 350 represent the growth of undissolved γ′. Although this continues in the 416th layer, the phase fractions plot indicates that the onset of partial dissolution begins after the 411th layer. This implies that partial dissolution started early, but the fraction of undissolved γ′ was too low to impact the phase fraction. The reprecipitated γ′ are mostly in the 100–220 nm class range and similar to those observed during full dissolution.

As the number of layers increases, coarsening intensifies with continued growth of more undissolved γ′, and reprecipitation and growth of partially dissolved ones. Fig. 8d, e, and f show this sequence. Further down the build, coarsening progresses rapidly, as shown in Figs. 8d, 8e, and 8f. The γ′ size ranges from 120 to 1100 nm, with the peaks at 160, 180, and 220 nm in Figs. 8d, 8e, and 8f, respectively. Coarsening continues until nucleation ends during dissolution, where only the already formed γ′ precipitates continue to grow during further thermal cycling. The γ′ size at this point is much larger, as observed in layers 361 and 261, and continues to increase steadily towards the bottom (layer 1). Two populations in the ranges of ∼380–700 and ∼750–1100 nm, respectively, can be seen. The steady growth of γ′ towards the bottom is confirmed by the gradual decrease in the concentration of solute elements in the matrix (Fig. 7a). It should be noted that for each layer, the γ′ class with the largest size originates from continuous growth of the earliest set of the undissolved precipitates.

Fig. 9Fig. 10 and supplementary Figs. S2 and S3 show the γ′ size evolution during heating and cooling of a single layer in the full dissolution region, and early, middle stages, and later stages of partial dissolution, respectively. In all, the size of γ′ reduces during layer heating. Depending on the peak temperature of the layer which varies with build height, γ′ are either fully or partially dissolved as mentioned earlier. Upon cooling, the dissolved γ′ reprecipitate.

Fig. 9
Fig. 10

In Fig. 9, those layers that underwent complete dissolution (top layers) were held above γ′ solvus temperature for longer. In Fig. 10, layers at the early stage of partial dissolution spend less time in the γ′ solvus temperature region during heating, leading to incomplete dissolution. In such conditions, smaller precipitates are fully dissolved while larger ones shrink [67]. Layers in the middle stages of partial dissolution have peak temperatures just below or at γ′ solvus, not sufficient to achieve significant γ′ dissolution. As seen in supplementary Fig. S2, only a few smaller γ′ are dissolved back into the matrix during heating, i.e., growth of precipitates is more significant than dissolution. This explains the sharp decrease in concentration of Al and Ti in the matrix in this layer.

The previous sections indicate various phenomena such as an increase in phase fraction, further depletion of matrix composition, and new nucleation bursts during cooling. Analysis of the PSD after the final cooling of the build to room temperature allows a direct comparison to post-printing microstructural characterization. Fig. 11 shows the γ′ size distribution of layer 1 (460th layer from the top) after final cooling to room temperature. Precipitation of secondary γ′ is observed, leading to the multimodal size distribution of secondary and primary γ′. The secondary γ′ size falls within the 10–80 nm range. As expected, a further growth of the existing primary γ′ is also observed during cooling.

Fig. 11
3.3.2.3. γ′ chemistry after deposition

Fig. 12 shows the concentration of the major elements that form γ′ (Al, Ti, and Ni) in the primary and secondary γ′ at the bottom of the build, as calculated by MatCalc. The secondary γ′ has a higher Al content (13.5–14.5 at% Al), compared to 13 at% Al in the primary γ′. Additionally, within the secondary γ′, the smallest particles (∼10 nm) have higher Al contents than larger ones (∼70 nm). In contrast, for the primary γ′, there is no significant variation in the Al content as a function of their size. The Ni concentration in secondary γ′ (71.1–72 at%) is also higher in comparison to the primary γ′ (70 at%). The smallest secondary γ′ (∼10 nm) have higher Ni contents than larger ones (∼70 nm), whereas there is no substantial change in the Ni content of primary γ′, based on their size. As expected, Ti shows an opposite size-dependent variation. It ranges from ∼ 7.7–8.7 at% Ti in secondary γ′ to ∼9.2 at% in primary γ′. Similarly, within the secondary γ′, the smallest (∼10 nm) have lower Al contents than the larger ones (∼70 nm). No significant variation is observed for Ti content in primary γ′.

Fig. 12

4. Discussion

A combined modelling method is utilized to study the microstructural evolution during E-PBF of IN738. The presented results are discussed by examining the precipitation and dissolution mechanism of γ′ during thermal cycling. This is followed by a discussion on the phase fraction and size evolution of γ′ during thermal cycling and after final cooling. A brief discussion on carbide morphology is also made. Finally, a comparison is made between the simulation and experimental results to assess their agreement.

4.1. γ′ morphology as a function of build height

4.1.1. Nucleation of γ′

The fast precipitation kinetics of the γ′ phase enables formation of γ′ upon quenching from higher temperatures (above solvus) during thermal cycling [66]. In Fig. 7b, for a single layer in the full dissolution region, during cooling, the initial increase in nucleation rate signifies the first formation of nuclei. The slight increase in nucleation rate during partial dissolution, despite a decrease in the concentration of γ′ forming elements, may be explained by the nucleation kinetics. During partial dissolution and as the precipitates shrink, it is assumed that the regions at the vicinity of partially dissolved precipitates are enriched in γ′ forming elements [68][69]. This differs from the full dissolution region, in which case the chemical composition is evenly distributed in the matrix. Several authors have attributed the solute supersaturation of the matrix around primary γ′ to partial dissolution during isothermal ageing [69][70][71][72]. The enhanced supersaturation in the regions close to the precipitates results in a much higher driving force for nucleation, leading to a higher nucleation rate upon cooling. This phenomenon can be closely related to the several nucleation bursts upon continuous cooling of Ni-based superalloys, where second nucleation bursts exhibit higher nucleation rates [38][68][73][74].

At middle stages of partial dissolution, the reduction in the nucleation rate indicates that the existing composition and low supersaturation did not trigger nucleation as the matrix was closer to the equilibrium state. The end of a nucleation burst means that the supersaturation of Al and Ti has reached a low level, incapable of providing sufficient driving force during cooling to or holding at 1000 °C for further nucleation [73]. Earlier studies on Ni-based superalloys have reported the same phenomenon during ageing or continuous cooling from the solvus temperature to RT [38][73][74].

4.1.2. Dissolution of γ′ during thermal cycling

γ′ dissolution kinetics during heating are fast when compared to nucleation due to exponential increase in phase transformation and diffusion activities with temperature [65]. As shown in Fig. 9Fig. 10, and supplementary Figs. S2 and S3, the reduction in γ′ phase fraction and size during heating indicates γ′ dissolution. This is also revealed in Fig. 5 where phase fraction decreases upon heating. The extent of γ′ dissolution mostly depends on the temperature, time spent above γ′ solvus, and precipitate size [75][76][77]. Smaller γ′ precipitates are first to be dissolved [67][77][78]. This is mainly because more solute elements need to be transported away from large γ′ precipitates than from smaller ones [79]. Also, a high temperature above γ′ solvus temperature leads to a faster dissolution rate [80]. The equilibrium solvus temperature of γ′ in IN738 in our MatCalc simulation (Fig. 6) and as reported by Ojo et al. [47] is 1140 °C and 1130–1180 °C, respectively. This means the peak temperature experienced by previous layers decreases progressively from γ′ supersolvus to subsolvus, near-solvus, and far from solvus as the number of subsequent layers increases. Based on the above, it can be inferred that the degree of dissolution of γ′ contributes to the gradient in precipitate distribution.

Although the peak temperatures during later stages of partial dissolution are much lower than the equilibrium γ′ solvus, γ′ dissolution still occurs but at a significantly lower rate (supplementary Fig. S3). Wahlmann et al. [28] also reported a similar case where they observed the rapid dissolution of γ′ in CMSX-4 during fast heating and cooling cycles at temperatures below the γ′ solvus. They attributed this to the γ′ phase transformation process taking place in conditions far from the equilibrium. While the same reasoning may be valid for our study, we further believe that the greater surface area to volume ratio of the small γ′ precipitates contributed to this. This ratio means a larger area is available for solute atoms to diffuse into the matrix even at temperatures much below the solvus [81].

4.2. γ′ phase fraction and size evolution

4.2.1. During thermal cycling

In the first layer, the steep increase in γ′ phase fraction during heating (Fig. 5), which also represents γ′ precipitation in the powder before melting, has qualitatively been validated in [28]. The maximum phase fraction of 27% during the first few layers of thermal cycling indicates that IN738 theoretically could reach the equilibrium state (∼30%), but the short interlayer time at the build temperature counteracts this. The drop in phase fraction at middle stages of partial dissolution is due to the low number of γ′ nucleation sites [73]. It has been reported that a reduction of γ′ nucleation sites leads to a delay in obtaining the final volume fraction as more time is required for γ′ precipitates to grow and reach equilibrium [82]. This explains why even upon holding for 150 s before subsequent layer deposition, the phase fraction does not increase to those values that were observed in the previous full γ′ dissolution regions. Towards the end of deposition, the increase in phase fraction to the equilibrium value of 30% is as a result of the longer holding at build temperature or close to it [83].

During thermal cycling, γ′ particles begin to grow immediately after they first precipitate upon cooling. This is reflected in the rapid increase in phase fraction and size during cooling in Fig. 5 and supplementary Fig. S2, respectively. The rapid growth is due to the fast diffusion of solute elements at high temperatures [84]. The similar size of γ′ for the first 44 layers from the top can be attributed to the fact that all layers underwent complete dissolution and hence, experienced the same nucleation event and growth during deposition. This corresponds with the findings by Balikci et al. [85], who reported that the degree of γ′ precipitation in IN738LC does not change when a solution heat treatment is conducted above a certain critical temperature.

The increase in coarsening rate (Fig. 8) during thermal cycling can first be ascribed to the high peak temperature of the layers [86]. The coarsening rate of γ′ is known to increase rapidly with temperature due to the exponential growth of diffusion activity. Also, the simultaneous dissolution with coarsening could be another reason for the high coarsening rate, as γ′ coarsening is a diffusion-driven process where large particles grow by consuming smaller ones [78][84][86][87]. The steady growth of γ′ towards the bottom of the build is due to the much lower layer peak temperature, which is almost close to the build temperature, and reduced dissolution activity, as is seen in the much lower solute concentration in γ′ compared to those in the full and partial dissolution regions.

4.2.2. During cooling

The much higher phase fraction of ∼40% upon cooling signifies the tendency of γ′ to reach equilibrium at lower temperatures (Fig. 4). This is due to the precipitation of secondary γ′ and a further increase in the size of existing primary γ′, which leads to a multimodal size distribution of γ′ after cooling [38][73][88][89][90]. The reason for secondary γ′ formation during cooling is as follows: As cooling progresses, it becomes increasingly challenging to redistribute solute elements in the matrix owing to their lower mobility [38][73]. A higher supersaturation level in regions away from or free of the existing γ′ precipitates is achieved, making them suitable sites for additional nucleation bursts. More cooling leads to the growth of these secondary γ′ precipitates, but as the temperature and in turn, the solute diffusivity is low, growth remains slow.

4.3. Carbides

MC carbides in IN738 are known to have a significant impact on the high-temperature strength. They can also act as effective hardening particles and improve the creep resistance [91]. Precipitation of MC carbides in IN738 and several other superalloys is known to occur during solidification or thermal treatments (e.g., hot isostatic pressing) [92]. In our case, this means that the MC carbides within the E-PBF build formed because of the thermal exposure from the E-PBF thermal cycle in addition to initial solidification. Our simulation confirms this as MC carbides appear during layer heating (Fig. 5). The constant and stable phase fraction of MC carbides during thermal cycling can be attributed to their high melting point (∼1360 °C) and the short holding time at peak temperatures [75][93][94]. The solvus temperature for most MC carbides exceeds most of the peak temperatures observed in our simulation, and carbide dissolution kinetics at temperatures above the solvus are known to be comparably slow [95]. The stable phase fraction and random distribution of MC carbides signifies the slight influence on the gradient in hardness.

4.4. Comparison of simulations and experiments

4.4.1. Precipitate phase fraction and morphology as a function of build height

A qualitative agreement is observed for the phase fraction of carbides, i.e. ∼0.8% in the experiment and ∼0.9% in the simulation. The phase fraction of γ′ differs, with the experiment reporting a value of ∼51% and the simulation, 40%. Despite this, the size distribution of primary γ′ along the build shows remarkable consistency between experimental and computational analyses. It is worth noting that the primary γ′ morphology in the experimental analysis is observed in the as-fabricated state, whereas the simulation (Fig. 8) captures it during deposition process. The primary γ′ size in the experiment is expected to experience additional growth during the cooling phase. Regardless, both show similar trends in primary γ′ size increments from the top to the bottom of the build. The larger primary γ’ size in the simulation versus the experiment can be attributed to the fact that experimental and simulation results are based on 2D and 3D data, respectively. The absence of stereological considerations [96] in our analysis could have led to an underestimation of the precipitate sizes from SEM measurements. The early starts of coarsening (8th layer) in the experiment compared to the simulation (45th layer) can be attributed to a higher actual γ′ solvus temperature than considered in our simulation [47]. The solvus temperature of γ′ in a Ni-based superalloy is mainly determined by the detailed composition. A high amount of Cr and Co are known to reduce the solvus temperature, whereas Ta and Mo will increase it [97][98][99]. The elemental composition from our experimental work was used for the simulation except for Ta. It should be noted that Ta is not included in the thermodynamic database in MatCalc used, and this may have reduced the solvus temperature. This could also explain the relatively higher γ′ phase fraction in the experiment than in simulation, as a higher γ′ solvus temperature will cause more γ′ to precipitate and grow early during cooling [99][100].

Another possible cause of this deviation can be attributed to the extent of γ′ dissolution, which is mainly determined by the peak temperature. It can be speculated that individual peak temperatures at different layers in the simulation may have been over-predicted. However, one needs to consider that the true thermal profile is likely more complicated in the actual E-PBF process [101]. For example, the current model assumes that the thermophysical properties of the material are temperature-independent, which is not realistic. Many materials, including IN738, exhibit temperature-dependent properties such as thermal conductivityspecific heat capacity, and density [102]. This means that heat transfer simulations may underestimate or overestimate the temperature gradients and cooling rates within the powder bed and the solidified part. Additionally, the model does not account for the reduced thermal diffusivity through unmelted powder, where gas separating the powder acts as insulation, impeding the heat flow [1]. In E-PBF, the unmelted powder regions with trapped gas have lower thermal diffusivity compared to the fully melted regions, leading to localized temperature variations, and altered solidification behavior. These limitations can impact the predictions, particularly in relation to the carbide dissolution, as the peak temperatures may be underestimated.

While acknowledging these limitations, it is worth emphasizing that achieving a detailed and accurate representation of each layer’s heat source would impose tough computational challenges. Given the substantial layer count in E-PBF, our decision to employ a semi-analytical approximation strikes a balance between computational feasibility and the capture of essential trends in thermal profiles across diverse build layers. In future work, a dual-calibration strategy is proposed to further reduce simulation-experiment disparities. By refining temperature-independent thermophysical property approximations and absorptivity in the heat source model, and by optimizing interfacial energy descriptions in the kinetic model, the predictive precision could be enhanced. Further refining the simulation controls, such as adjusting the precipitate class size may enhance quantitative comparisons between modeling outcomes and experimental data in future work.

4.4.2. Multimodal size distribution of γ′ and concentration

Another interesting feature that sees qualitative agreement between the simulation and the experiment is the multimodal size distribution of γ′. The formation of secondary γ′ particles in the experiment and most E-PBF Ni-based superalloys is suggested to occur at low temperatures, during final cooling to RT [16][73][90]. However, so far, this conclusion has been based on findings from various continuous cooling experiments, as the study of the evolution during AM would require an in-situ approach. Our simulation unambiguously confirms this in an AM context by providing evidence for secondary γ′ precipitation during slow cooling to RT. Additionally, it is possible to speculate that the chemical segregation occurring during solidification, due to the preferential partitioning of certain elements between the solid and liquid phases, can contribute to the multimodal size distribution during deposition [51]. This is because chemical segregation can result in variations in the local composition of superalloys, which subsequently affects the nucleation and growth of γ′. Regions with higher concentrations of alloying elements will encourage the formation of larger γ′ particles, while regions with lower concentrations may favor the nucleation of smaller precipitates. However, it is important to acknowledge that the elevated temperature during the E-PBF process will largely homogenize these compositional differences [103][104].

A good correlation is also shown in the composition of major γ′ forming elements (Al and Ti) in primary and secondary γ′. Both experiment and simulation show an increasing trend for Al content and a decreasing trend for Ti content from primary to secondary γ′. The slight composition differences between primary and secondary γ′ particles are due to the different diffusivity of γ′ stabilizers at different thermal conditions [105][106]. As the formation of multimodal γ′ particles with different sizes occurs over a broad temperature range, the phase chemistry of γ′ will be highly size dependent. The changes in the chemistry of various γ′ (primary, secondary, and tertiary) have received significant attention since they have a direct influence on the performance [68][105][107][108][109]. Chen et al. [108][109], reported a high Al content in the smallest γ′ precipitates compared to the largest, while Ti showed an opposite trend during continuous cooling in a RR1000 Ni-based superalloy. This was attributed to the temperature and cooling rate at which the γ′ precipitates were formed. The smallest precipitates formed last, at the lowest temperature and cooling rate. A comparable observation is evident in the present investigation, where the secondary γ′ forms at a low temperature and cooling rate in comparison to the primary. The temperature dependence of γ′ chemical composition is further evidenced in supplementary Fig. S4, which shows the equilibrium chemical composition of γ′ as a function of temperature.

5. Conclusions

A correlative modelling approach capable of predicting solid-state phase transformations kinetics in metal AM was developed. This approach involves computational simulations with a semi-analytical heat transfer model and the MatCalc thermo-kinetic software. The method was used to predict the phase transformation kinetics and detailed morphology and chemistry of γ′ and MC during E-PBF of IN738 Ni-based superalloy. The main conclusions are:

  • 1.The computational simulations are in qualitative agreement with the experimental observations. This is particularly true for the γ′ size distribution along the build height, the multimodal size distribution of particles, and the phase fraction of MC carbides.
  • 2.The deviations between simulation and experiment in terms of γ′ phase fraction and location in the build are most likely attributed to a higher γ′ solvus temperature during the experiment than in the simulation, which is argued to be related to the absence of Ta in the MatCalc database.
  • 3.The dissolution and precipitation of γ′ occur fast and under non-equilibrium conditions. The level of γ′ dissolution determines the gradient in γ′ size distribution along the build. After thermal cycling, the final cooling to room temperature has further significant impacts on the final γ′ size, morphology, and distribution.
  • 4.A negligible amount of γ′ forms in the first deposited layer before subsequent layer deposition, and a small amount of γ′ may also form in the powder induced by the 1000 °C elevated build temperature before melting.

Our findings confirm the suitability of MatCalc to predict the microstructural evolution at various positions throughout a build in a Ni-based superalloy during E-PBF. It also showcases the suitability of a tool which was originally developed for traditional thermo-mechanical processing of alloys to the new additive manufacturing context. Our simulation capabilities are likely extendable to other alloy systems that undergo solid-state phase transformations implemented in MatCalc (various steels, Ni-based superalloys, and Al-alloys amongst others) as well as other AM processes such as L-DED and L-PBF which have different thermal cycle characteristics. New tools to predict the microstructural evolution and properties during metal AM are important as they provide new insights into the complexities of AM. This will enable control and design of AM microstructures towards advanced materials properties and performances.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Primig Sophie: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Resources, Project administration, Funding acquisition, Conceptualization. Adomako Nana Kwabena: Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Visualization, Software, Investigation, Formal analysis, Conceptualization. Haghdadi Nima: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Project administration, Methodology, Conceptualization. Dingle James F.L.: Methodology, Conceptualization, Software, Writing – review & editing, Visualization. Kozeschnik Ernst: Writing – review & editing, Software, Methodology. Liao Xiaozhou: Writing – review & editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition. Ringer Simon P: Writing – review & editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Acknowledgements

This research was sponsored by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science under the auspices of the AUSMURI program – which is a part of the Commonwealth’s Next Generation Technologies Fund. The authors acknowledge the facilities and the scientific and technical assistance at the Electron Microscope Unit (EMU) within the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC) at UNSW Sydney and Microscopy Australia. Nana Adomako is supported by a UNSW Scientia PhD scholarship. Michael Haines’ (UNSW Sydney) contribution to the revised version of the original manuscript is thankfully acknowledged.

Appendix A. Supplementary material

Download : Download Word document (462KB)

Supplementary material.

Data Availability

Data will be made available on request.

References

Thermo-fluid modeling of influence of attenuated laser beam intensity profile on melt pool behavior in laser-assisted powder-based direct energy deposition

레이저 보조 분말 기반 직접 에너지 증착에서 용융 풀 거동에 대한 감쇠 레이저 빔 강도 프로파일의 영향에 대한 열유체 모델링

Thermo-fluid modeling of influence of attenuated laser beam intensity profile on melt pool behavior in laser-assisted powder-based direct energy deposition

Mohammad Sattari, Amin Ebrahimi, Martin Luckabauer, Gert-willem R.B.E. Römer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volume › Conference contribution › Professional

5Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A numerical framework based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), using the finite volume method (FVM) and volume of fluid (VOF) technique is presented to investigate the effect of the laser beam intensity profile on melt pool behavior in laser-assisted powder-based directed energy deposition (L-DED). L-DED is an additive manufacturing (AM) process that utilizes a laser beam to fuse metal powder particles. To assure high-fidelity modeling, it was found that it is crucial to accurately model the interaction between the powder stream and the laser beam in the gas region above the substrate. The proposed model considers various phenomena including laser energy attenuation and absorption, multiple reflections of the laser rays, powder particle stream, particle-fluid interaction, temperature-dependent properties, buoyancy effects, thermal expansion, solidification shrinkage and drag, and Marangoni flow. The latter is induced by temperature and element-dependent surface tension. The model is validated using experimental results and highlights the importance of considering laser energy attenuation. Furthermore, the study investigates how the laser beam intensity profile affects melt pool size and shape, influencing the solidification microstructure and mechanical properties of the deposited material. The proposed model has the potential to optimize the L-DED process for a variety of materials and provides insights into the capability of numerical modeling for additive manufacturing optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFlow-3D World Users Conference
Publication statusPublished – 2023
EventFlow-3D World User Conference – Strasbourg, France
Duration: 5 Jun 2023 → 7 Jun 2023

Conference

ConferenceFlow-3D World User Conference
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityStrasbourg
Period5/06/23 → 7/06/23
Figure 5. Schematic view of flap and support structure [32]

Design Optimization of Ocean Renewable Energy Converter Using a Combined Bi-level Metaheuristic Approach

결합된 Bi-level 메타휴리스틱 접근법을 사용한 해양 재생 에너지 변환기의 설계 최적화

Erfan Amini a1, Mahdieh Nasiri b1, Navid Salami Pargoo a, Zahra Mozhgani c, Danial Golbaz d, Mehrdad Baniesmaeil e, Meysam Majidi Nezhad f, Mehdi Neshat gj, Davide Astiaso Garcia h, Georgios Sylaios i

Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in renewable energies in view of the fact that fossil fuels are the leading cause of catastrophic environmental consequences. Ocean wave energy is a renewable energy source that is particularly prevalent in coastal areas. Since many countries have tremendous potential to extract this type of energy, a number of researchers have sought to determine certain effective factors on wave converters’ performance, with a primary emphasis on ambient factors. In this study, we used metaheuristic optimization methods to investigate the effects of geometric factors on the performance of an Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter (OSWEC), in addition to the effects of hydrodynamic parameters. To do so, we used CATIA software to model different geometries which were then inserted into a numerical model developed in Flow3D software. A Ribed-surface design of the converter’s flap is also introduced in this study to maximize wave-converter interaction. Besides, a Bi-level Hill Climbing Multi-Verse Optimization (HCMVO) method was also developed for this application. The results showed that the converter performs better with greater wave heights, flap freeboard heights, and shorter wave periods. Additionally, the added ribs led to more wave-converter interaction and better performance, while the distance between the flap and flume bed negatively impacted the performance. Finally, tracking the changes in the five-dimensional objective function revealed the optimum value for each parameter in all scenarios. This is achieved by the newly developed optimization algorithm, which is much faster than other existing cutting-edge metaheuristic approaches.

Keywords

Wave Energy Converter

OSWEC

Hydrodynamic Effects

Geometric Design

Metaheuristic Optimization

Multi-Verse Optimizer

1Introduction

The increase in energy demand, the limitations of fossil fuels, as well as environmental crises, such as air pollution and global warming, are the leading causes of calling more attention to harvesting renewable energy recently [1][2][3]. While still in its infancy, ocean wave energy has neither reached commercial maturity nor technological convergence. In recent decades, remarkable progress has been made in the marine energy domain, which is still in the early stage of development, to improve the technology performance level (TPL) [4][5]and technology readiness level (TRL) of wave energy converters (WECs). This has been achieved using novel modeling techniques [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] to gain the following advantages [15]: (i) As a source of sustainable energy, it contributes to the mix of energy resources that leads to greater diversity and attractiveness for coastal cities and suppliers. [16] (ii) Since wave energy can be exploited offshore and does not require any land, in-land site selection would be less expensive and undesirable visual effects would be reduced. [17] (iii) When the best layout and location of offshore site are taken into account, permanent generation of energy will be feasible (as opposed to using solar energy, for example, which is time-dependent) [18].

In general, the energy conversion process can be divided into three stages in a WEC device, including primary, secondary, and tertiary stages [19][20]. In the first stage of energy conversion, which is the subject of this study, the wave power is converted to mechanical power by wave-structure interaction (WSI) between ocean waves and structures. Moreover, the mechanical power is transferred into electricity in the second stage, in which mechanical structures are coupled with power take-off systems (PTO). At this stage, optimal control strategies are useful to tune the system dynamics to maximize power output [10][13][12]. Furthermore, the tertiary energy conversion stage revolves around transferring the non-standard AC power into direct current (DC) power for energy storage or standard AC power for grid integration [21][22]. We discuss only the first stage regardless of the secondary and tertiary stages. While Page 1 of 16 WECs include several categories and technologies such as terminators, point absorbers, and attenuators [15][23], we focus on oscillating surge wave energy converters (OSWECs) in this paper due to its high capacity for industrialization [24].

Over the past two decades, a number of studies have been conducted to understand how OSWECs’ structures and interactions between ocean waves and flaps affect converters performance. Henry et al.’s experiment on oscillating surge wave energy converters is considered as one of the most influential pieces of research [25], which demonstrated how the performance of oscillating surge wave energy converters (OSWECs) is affected by seven different factors, including wave period, wave power, flap’s relative density, water depth, free-board of the flap, the gap between the tubes, gap underneath the flap, and flap width. These parameters were assessed in their two models in order to estimate the absorbed energy from incoming waves [26][27]. In addition, Folly et al. investigated the impact of water depth on the OSWECs performance analytically, numerically, and experimentally. According to this and further similar studies, the average annual incident wave power is significantly reduced by water depth. Based on the experimental results, both the surge wave force and the power capture of OSWECs increase in shallow water [28][29]. Following this, Sarkar et al. found that under such circumstances, the device that is located near the coast performs much better than those in the open ocean [30]. On the other hand, other studies are showing that the size of the converter, including height and width, is relatively independent of the location (within similar depth) [31]. Subsequently, Schmitt et al. studied OSWECs numerically and experimentally. In fact, for the simulation of OSWEC, OpenFOAM was used to test the applicability of Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) solvers. Then, the experimental model reproduced the numerical results with satisfying accuracy [32]. In another influential study, Wang et al. numerically assessed the effect of OSWEC’s width on their performance. According to their findings, as converter width increases, its efficiency decreases in short wave periods while increases in long wave periods [33]. One of the main challenges in the analysis of the OSWEC is the coupled effect of hydrodynamic and geometric variables. As a result, numerous cutting-edge geometry studies have been performed in recent years in order to find the optimal structure that maximizes power output and minimizes costs. Garcia et al. reviewed hull geometry optimization studies in the literature in [19]. In addition, Guo and Ringwood surveyed geometric optimization methods to improve the hydrodynamic performance of OSWECs at the primary stage [14]. Besides, they classified the hull geometry of OSWECs based on Figure 1. Subsequently, Whittaker et al. proposed a different design of OSWEC called Oyster2. There have been three examples of different geometries of oysters with different water depths. Based on its water depth, they determined the width and height of the converter. They also found that in the constant wave period the less the converter’s width, the less power captures the converter has [34]. Afterward, O’Boyle et al. investigated a type of OSWEC called Oyster 800. They compared the experimental and numerical models with the prototype model. In order to precisely reproduce the shape, mass distribution, and buoyancy properties of the prototype, a 40th-scale experimental model has been designed. Overall, all the models were fairly accurate according to the results [35].

Inclusive analysis of recent research avenues in the area of flap geometry has revealed that the interaction-based designs of such converters are emerging as a novel approach. An initiative workflow is designed in the current study to maximizing the wave energy extrication by such systems. To begin with, a sensitivity analysis plays its role of determining the best hydrodynamic values for installing the converter’s flap. Then, all flap dimensions and characteristics come into play to finalize the primary model. Following, interactive designs is proposed to increase the influence of incident waves on the body by adding ribs on both sides of the flap as a novel design. Finally, a new bi-level metaheuristic method is proposed to consider the effects of simultaneous changes in ribs properties and other design parameters. We hope this novel approach will be utilized to make big-scale projects less costly and justifiable. The efficiency of the method is also compared with four well known metaheuristic algorithms and out weight them for this application.

This paper is organized as follows. First, the research methodology is introduced by providing details about the numerical model implementation. To that end, we first introduced the primary model’s geometry and software details. That primary model is later verified with a benchmark study with regard to the flap angle of rotation and water surface elevation. Then, governing equations and performance criteria are presented. In the third part of the paper, we discuss the model’s sensitivity to lower and upper parts width (we proposed a two cross-sectional design for the flap), bottom elevation, and freeboard. Finally, the novel optimization approach is introduced in the final part and compared with four recent metaheuristic algorithms.

2. Numerical Methods

In this section, after a brief introduction of the numerical software, Flow3D, boundary conditions are defined. Afterwards, the numerical model implementation, along with primary model properties are described. Finally, governing equations, as part of numerical process, are discussed.

2.1Model Setup

FLOW-3D is a powerful and comprehensive CFD simulation platform for studying fluid dynamics. This software has several modules to solve many complex engineering problems. In addition, modeling complex flows is simple and effective using FLOW-3D’s robust meshing capabilities [36]. Interaction between fluid and moving objects might alter the computational range. Dynamic meshes are used in our modeling to take these changes into account. At each time step, the computational node positions change in order to adapt the meshing area to the moving object. In addition, to choose mesh dimensions, some factors are taken into account such as computational accuracy, computational time, and stability. The final grid size is selected based on the detailed procedure provided in [37]. To that end, we performed grid-independence testing on a CFD model using three different mesh grid sizes of 0.01, 0.015, and 0.02 meters. The problem geometry and boundary conditions were defined the same, and simulations were run on all three grids under the same conditions. The predicted values of the relevant variable, such as velocity, was compared between the grids. The convergence behavior of the numerical solution was analyzed by calculating the relative L2 norm error between two consecutive grids. Based on the results obtained, it was found that the grid size of 0.02 meters showed the least error, indicating that it provided the most accurate and reliable solution among the three grids. Therefore, the grid size of 0.02 meters was selected as the optimal spatial resolution for the mesh grid.

In this work, the flume dimensions are 10 meters long, 0.1 meters wide, and 2.2 meters high, which are shown in figure2. In addition, input waves with linear characteristics have a height of 0.1 meters and a period of 1.4 seconds. Among the linear wave methods included in this software, RNGk-ε and k- ε are appropriate for turbulence model. The research of Lopez et al. shows that RNGk- ε provides the most accurate simulation of turbulence in OSWECs [21]. We use CATIA software to create the flap primary model and other innovative designs for this project. The flap measures 0.1 m x 0.65 m x 0.360 m in x, y and z directions, respectively. In Figure 3, the primary model of flap and its dimensions are shown. In this simulation, five boundaries have been defined, including 1. Inlet, 2. Outlet, 3. Converter flap, 4. Bed flume, and 5. Water surface, which are shown in figure 2. Besides, to avoid wave reflection in inlet and outlet zones, Flow3D is capable of defining some areas as damping zones, the length of which has to be one to one and a half times the wavelength. Therefore, in the model, this length is considered equal to 2 meters. Furthermore, there is no slip in all the boundaries. In other words, at every single time step, the fluid velocity is zero on the bed flume, while it is equal to the flap velocity on the converter flap. According to the wave theory defined in the software, at the inlet boundary, the water velocity is called from the wave speed to be fed into the model.

2.2Verification

In the current study, we utilize the Schmitt experimental model as a benchmark for verification, which was developed at the Queen’s University of Belfast. The experiments were conducted on the flap of the converter, its rotation, and its interaction with the water surface. Thus, the details of the experiments are presented below based up on the experimental setup’s description [38]. In the experiment, the laboratory flume has a length of 20m and a width of 4.58m. Besides, in order to avoid incident wave reflection, a wave absorption source is devised at the end of the left flume. The flume bed, also, includes two parts with different slops. The flap position and dimensions of the flume can be seen in Figure4. In addition, a wave-maker with 6 paddles is installed at one end. At the opposite end, there is a beach with wire meshes. Additionally, there are 6 indicators to extract the water level elevation. In the flap model, there are three components: the fixed support structure, the hinge, and the flap. The flap measures 0.1m x 0.65m x 0.341m in x, y and z directions, respectively. In Figure5, the details are given [32]. The support structure consists of a 15 mm thick stainless steel base plate measuring 1m by 1.4m, which is screwed onto the bottom of the tank. The hinge is supported by three bearing blocks. There is a foam centerpiece on the front and back of the flap which is sandwiched between two PVC plates. Enabling changes of the flap, three metal fittings link the flap to the hinge. Moreover, in this experiment, the selected wave is generated based on sea wave data at scale 1:40. The wave height and the wave period are equal to 0.038 (m) and 2.0625 (s), respectively, which are tantamount to a wave with a period of 13 (s) and a height of 1.5 (m).

Two distinct graphs illustrate the numerical and experi-mental study results. Figure6 and Figure7 are denoting the angle of rotation of flap and surface elevation in computational and experimental models, respectively. The two figures roughly represent that the numerical and experimental models are a good match. However, for the purpose of verifying the match, we calculated the correlation coefficient (C) and root mean square error (RMSE). According to Figure6, correlation coefficient and RMSE are 0.998 and 0.003, respectively, and in Figure7 correlation coefficient and RMSE are respectively 0.999 and 0.001. Accordingly, there is a good match between the numerical and empirical models. It is worth mentioning that the small differences between the numerical and experimental outputs may be due to the error of the measuring devices and the calibration of the data collection devices.

Including continuity equation and momentum conserva- tion for incompressible fluid are given as [32][39]:(1)

where P represents the pressure, g denotes gravitational acceleration, u represents fluid velocity, and Di is damping coefficient. Likewise, the model uses the same equation. to calculate the fluid velocity in other directions as well. Considering the turbulence, we use the two-equation model of RNGK- ε. These equations are:

(3)��t(��)+����(����)=����[�eff�������]+��-��and(4)���(��)+����(����)=����[�eff�������]+�1�∗����-��2��2�Where �2� and �1� are constants. In addition, �� and �� represent the turbulent Prandtl number of � and k, respectively.

�� also denote the production of turbulent kinetic energy of k under the effect of velocity gradient, which is calculated as follows:(5)��=�eff[�����+�����]�����(6)�eff=�+��(7)�eff=�+��where � is molecular viscosity,�� represents turbulence viscosity, k denotes kinetic energy, and ∊∊ is energy dissipation rate. The values of constant coefficients in the two-equation RNGK ∊-∊ model is as shown in the Table 1 [40].Table 2.

Table 1. Constant coefficients in RNGK- model

Factors�0�1�2������
Quantity0.0124.381.421.681.391.390.084

Table 2. Flap properties

Joint height (m)0.476
Height of the center of mass (m)0.53
Weight (Kg)10.77

It is worth mentioning that the volume of fluid method is used to separate water and air phases in this software [41]. Below is the equation of this method [40].(8)����+����(���)=0where α and 1 − α are portion of water phase and air phase, respectively. As a weighting factor, each fluid phase portion is used to determine the mixture properties. Finally, using the following equations, we calculate the efficiency of converters [42][34][43]:(9)�=14|�|2�+�2+(�+�a)2(�n2-�2)2where �� represents natural frequency, I denotes the inertia of OSWEC, Ia is the added inertia, F is the complex wave force, and B denotes the hydrodynamic damping coefficient. Afterward, the capture factor of the converter is calculated by [44]:(10)��=�1/2��2����gw where �� represents the capture factor, which is the total efficiency of device per unit length of the wave crest at each time step [15], �� represent the dimensional amplitude of the incident wave, w is the flap’s width, and Cg is the group velocity of the incident wave, as below:(11)��=��0·121+2�0ℎsinh2�0ℎwhere �0 denotes the wave number, h is water depth, and H is the height of incident waves.

According to previous sections ∊,����-∊ modeling is used for all models simulated in this section. For this purpose, the empty boundary condition is used for flume walls. In order to preventing wave reflection at the inlet and outlet of the flume, the length of wave absorption is set to be at least one incident wavelength. In addition, the structured mesh is chosen, and the mesh dimensions are selected in two distinct directions. In each model, all grids have a length of 2 (cm) and a height of 1 (cm). Afterwards, as an input of the software for all of the models, we define the time step as 0.001 (s). Moreover, the run time of every simulation is 30 (s). As mentioned before, our primary model is Schmitt model, and the flap properties is given in table2. For all simulations, the flume measures 15 meters in length and 0.65 meters in width, and water depth is equal to 0.335 (m). The flap is also located 7 meters from the flume’s inlet.

Finally, in order to compare the results, the capture factor is calculated for each simulation and compared to the primary model. It is worth mentioning that capture factor refers to the ratio of absorbed wave energy to the input wave energy.

According to primary model simulation and due to the decreasing horizontal velocity with depth, the wave crest has the highest velocity. Considering the fact that the wave’s orbital velocity causes the flap to move, the contact between the upper edge of the flap and the incident wave can enhance its performance. Additionally, the numerical model shows that the dynamic pressure decreases as depth increases, and the hydrostatic pressure increases as depth increases.

To determine the OSWEC design, it is imperative to understand the correlation between the capture factor, wave period, and wave height. Therefore, as it is shown in Figure8, we plot the change in capture factor over the variations in wave period and wave height in 3D and 2D. In this diagram, the first axis features changes in wave period, the second axis displays changes in wave height, and the third axis depicts changes in capture factor. According to our wave properties in the numerical model, the wave period and wave height range from 2 to 14 seconds and 2 to 8 meters, respectively. This is due to the fact that the flap does not oscillate if the wave height is less than 2 (m), and it does not reverse if the wave height is more than 8 (m). In addition, with wave periods more than 14 (s), the wavelength would be so long that it would violate the deep-water conditions, and with wave periods less than 2 (s), the flap would not oscillate properly due to the shortness of wavelength. The results of simulation are shown in Figure 8. As it can be perceived from Figure 8, in a constant wave period, the capture factor is in direct proportion to the wave height. It is because of the fact that waves with more height have more energy to rotate the flap. Besides, in a constant wave height, the capture factor increases when the wave period increases, until a given wave period value. However, the capture factor falls after this point. These results are expected since the flap’s angular displacement is not high in lower wave periods, while the oscillating motion of that is not fast enough to activate the power take-off system in very high wave periods.

As is shown in Figure 9, we plot the change in capture factor over the variations in wave period (s) and water depth (m) in 3D. As it can be seen in this diagram, the first axis features changes in water depth (m), the second axis depicts the wave period (s), and the third axis displays OSWEC’s capture factor. The wave period ranges from 0 to 10 seconds based on our wave properties, which have been adopted from Schmitt’s model, while water depth ranges from 0 to 0.5 meters according to the flume and flap dimensions and laboratory limitations. According to Figure9, for any specific water depth, the capture factor increases in a varying rate when the wave period increases, until a given wave period value. However, the capture factor falls steadily after this point. In fact, the maximum capture factor occurs when the wave period is around 6 seconds. This trend is expected since, in a specific water depth, the flap cannot oscillate properly when the wavelength is too short. As the wave period increases, the flap can oscillate more easily, and consequently its capture factor increases. However, the capture factor drops in higher wave periods because the wavelength is too large to move the flap. Furthermore, in a constant wave period, by changing the water depth, the capture factor does not alter. In other words, the capture factor does not depend on the water depth when it is around its maximum value.

3Sensitivity Analysis

Based on previous studies, in addition to the flap design, the location of the flap relative to the water surface (freeboard) and its elevation relative to the flume bed (flap bottom elevation) play a significant role in extracting energy from the wave energy converter. This study measures the sensitivity of the model to various parameters related to the flap design including upper part width of the flap, lower part width of the flap, the freeboard, and the flap bottom elevation. Moreover, as a novel idea, we propose that the flap widths differ in the lower and upper parts. In Figure10, as an example, a flap with an upper thickness of 100 (mm) and a lower thickness of 50 (mm) and a flap with an upper thickness of 50 (mm) and a lower thickness of 100 (mm) are shown. The influence of such discrepancy between the widths of the upper and lower parts on the interaction between the wave and the flap, or in other words on the capture factor, is evaluated. To do so, other parameters are remained constant, such as the freeboard, the distance between the flap and the flume bed, and the wave properties.

In Figure11, models are simulated with distinct upper and lower widths. As it is clear in this figure, the first axis depicts the lower part width of the flap, the second axis indicates the upper part width of the flap, and the colors represent the capture factor values. Additionally, in order to consider a sufficient range of change, the flap thickness varies from half to double the value of the primary model for each part.

According to this study, the greater the discrepancy in these two parts, the lower the capture factor. It is on account of the fact that when the lower part of the flap is thicker than the upper part, and this thickness difference in these two parts is extremely conspicuous, the inertia against the motion is significant at zero degrees of rotation. Consequently, it is difficult to move the flap, which results in a low capture factor. Similarly, when the upper part of the flap is thicker than the lower part, and this thickness difference in these two parts is exceedingly noticeable, the inertia is so great that the flap can not reverse at the maximum degree of rotation. As the results indicate, the discrepancy can enhance the performance of the converter if the difference between these two parts is around 20%. As it is depicted in the Figure11, the capture factor reaches its own maximum amount, when the lower part thickness is from 5 to 6 (cm), and the upper part thickness is between 6 and 7 (cm). Consequently, as a result of this discrepancy, less material will be used, and therefore there will be less cost.

As illustrated in Figure12, this study examines the effects of freeboard (level difference between the flap top and water surface) and the flap bottom elevation (the distance between the flume bed and flap bottom) on the converter performance. In this diagram, the first axis demonstrates the freeboard and the second axis on the left side displays the flap bottom elevation, while the colors indicate the capture factor. In addition, the feasible range of freeboard is between -15 to 15 (cm) due to the limitation of the numerical model, so that we can take the wave slamming and the overtopping into consideration. Additionally, based on the Schmitt model and its scaled model of 1:40 of the base height, the flap bottom should be at least 9 (cm) high. Since the effect of surface waves is distributed over the depth of the flume, it is imperative to maintain a reasonable flap height exposed to incoming waves. Thus, the maximum flap bottom elevation is limited to 19 (cm). As the Figure12 pictures, at constant negative values of the freeboard, the capture factor is in inverse proportion with the flap bottom elevation, although slightly.

Furthermore, at constant positive values of the freeboard, the capture factor fluctuates as the flap bottom elevation decreases while it maintains an overall increasing trend. This is on account of the fact that increasing the flap bottom elevation creates turbulence flow behind the flap, which encumbers its rotation, as well as the fact that the flap surface has less interaction with the incoming waves. Furthermore, while keeping the flap bottom elevation constant, the capture factor increases by raising the freeboard. This is due to the fact that there is overtopping with adverse impacts on the converter performance when the freeboard is negative and the flap is under the water surface. Besides, increasing the freeboard makes the wave slam more vigorously, which improves the converter performance.

Adding ribs to the flap surface, as shown in Figure13, is a novel idea that is investigated in the next section. To achieve an optimized design for the proposed geometry of the flap, we determine the optimal number and dimensions of ribs based on the flap properties as our decision variables in the optimization process. As an example, Figure13 illustrates a flap with 3 ribs on each side with specific dimensions.

Figure14 shows the flow velocity field around the flap jointed to the flume bed. During the oscillation of the flap, the pressure on the upper and lower surfaces of the flap changes dynamically due to the changing angle of attack and the resulting change in the direction of fluid flow. As the flap moves upwards, the pressure on the upper surface decreases, and the pressure on the lower surface increases. Conversely, as the flap moves downwards, the pressure on the upper surface increases, and the pressure on the lower surface decreases. This results in a cyclic pressure variation around the flap. Under certain conditions, the pressure field around the flap can exhibit significant variations in magnitude and direction, forming vortices and other flow structures. These flow structures can affect the performance of the OSWEC by altering the lift and drag forces acting on the flap.

4Design Optimization

We consider optimizing the design parameters of the flap of converter using a nature-based swarm optimization method, that fall in the category of metaheuristic algorithms [45]. Accordingly, we choose four state-of-the-art algorithms to perform an optimization study. Then, based on their performances to achieve the highest capture factor, one of them will be chosen to be combined with the Hill Climb algorithm to carry out a local search. Therefore, in the remainder of this section, we discuss the search process of each algorithm and visualize their performance and convergence curve as they try to find the best values for decision variables.

4.1. Metaheuristic Approaches

As the first considered algorithm, the Gray Wolf Optimizer (GWO) algorithm simulates the natural leadership and hunting performance of gray wolves which tend to live in colonies. Hunters must obey the alpha wolf, the leader, who is responsible for hunting. Then, the beta wolf is at the second level of the gray wolf hierarchy. A subordinate of alpha wolf, beta stands under the command of the alpha. At the next level in this hierarchy, there are the delta wolves. They are subordinate to the alpha and beta wolves. This category of wolves includes scouts, sentinels, elders, hunters, and caretakers. In this ranking, omega wolves are at the bottom, having the lowest level and obeying all other wolves. They are also allowed to eat the prey just after others have eaten. Despite the fact that they seem less important than others, they are really central to the pack survival. Since, it has been shown that without omega wolves, the entire pack would experience some problems like fighting, violence, and frustration. In this simulation, there are three primary steps of hunting including searching, surrounding, and finally attacking the prey. Mathematically model of gray wolves’ hunting technique and their social hierarchy are applied in determined by optimization. this study. As mentioned before, gray wolves can locate their prey and surround them. The alpha wolf also leads the hunt. Assuming that the alpha, beta, and delta have more knowledge about prey locations, we can mathematically simulate gray wolf hunting behavior. Hence, in addition to saving the top three best solutions obtained so far, we compel the rest of the search agents (also the omegas) to adjust their positions based on the best search agent. Encircling behavior can be mathematically modeled by the following equations: [46].(12)�→=|�→·��→(�)-�→(�)|(13)�→(�+1)=��→(�)-�→·�→(14)�→=2.�2→(15)�→=2�→·�1→-�→Where �→indicates the position vector of gray wolf, ��→ defines the vector of prey, t indicates the current iteration, and �→and �→are coefficient vectors. To force the search agent to diverge from the prey, we use �→ with random values greater than 1 or less than -1. In addition, C→ contains random values in the range [0,2], and �→ 1 and �2→ are random vectors in [0,1]. The second considered technique is the Moth Flame Optimizer (MFO) algorithm. This method revolves around the moths’ navigation mechanism, which is realized by positioning themselves and maintaining a fixed angle relative to the moon while flying. This effective mechanism helps moths to fly in a straight path. However, when the source of light is artificial, maintaining an angle with the light leads to a spiral flying path towards the source that causes the moth’s death [47]. In MFO algorithm, moths and flames are both solutions. The moths are actual search agents that fly in hyper-dimensional space by changing their position vectors, and the flames are considered pins that moths drop when searching the search space [48]. The problem’s variables are the position of moths in the space. Each moth searches around a flame and updates it in case of finding a better solution. The fitness value is the return value of each moth’s fitness (objective) function. The position vector of each moth is passed to the fitness function, and the output of the fitness function is assigned to the corresponding moth. With this mechanism, a moth never loses its best solution [49]. Some attributes of this algorithm are as follows:

  • •It takes different values to converge moth in any point around the flame.
  • •Distance to the flame is lowered to be eventually minimized.
  • •When the position gets closer to the flame, the updated positions around the flame become more frequent.

As another method, the Multi-Verse Optimizer is based on a multiverse theory which proposes there are other universes besides the one in which we all live. According to this theory, there are more than one big bang in the universe, and each big bang leads to the birth of a new universe [50]. Multi-Verse Optimizer (MVO) is mainly inspired by three phenomena in cosmology: white holes, black holes, and wormholes. A white hole has never been observed in our universe, but physicists believe the big bang could be considered a white hole [51]. Black holes, which behave completely in contrast to white holes, attract everything including light beams with their extremely high gravitational force [52]. In the multiverse theory, wormholes are time and space tunnels that allow objects to move instantly between any two corners of a universe (or even simultaneously from one universe to another) [53]. Based on these three concepts, mathematical models are designed to perform exploration, exploitation, and local search, respectively. The concept of white and black holes is implied as an exploration phase, while the concept of wormholes is considered as an exploitation phase by MVO. Additionally, each solution is analogous to a universe, and each variable in the solution represents an object in that universe. Furthermore, each solution is assigned an inflation rate, and the time is used instead of iterations. Following are the universe rules in MVO:

  • •The possibility of having white hole increases with the inflation rate.
  • •The possibility of having black hole decreases with the inflation rate.
  • •Objects tend to pass through black holes more frequently in universes with lower inflation rates.
  • •Regardless of inflation rate, wormholes may cause objects in universes to move randomly towards the best universe. [54]

Modeling the white/black hole tunnels and exchanging objects of universes mathematically was accomplished by using the roulette wheel mechanism. With every iteration, the universes are sorted according to their inflation rates, then, based on the roulette wheel, the one with the white hole is selected as the local extremum solution. This is accomplished through the following steps:

Assume that

(16)���=����1<��(��)����1≥��(��)

Where ��� represents the jth parameter of the ith universe, Ui indicates the ith universe, NI(Ui) is normalized inflation rate of the ith universe, r1 is a random number in [0,1], and j xk shows the jth parameter of the kth universe selected by a roulette wheel selection mechanism [54]. It is assumed that wormhole tunnels always exist between a universe and the best universe formed so far. This mechanism is as follows:(17)���=if�2<���:��+���×((���-���)×�4+���)�3<0.5��-���×((���-���)×�4+���)�3≥0.5����:���where Xj indicates the jth parameter of the best universe formed so far, TDR and WEP are coefficients, where Xj indicates the jth parameter of the best universelbjshows the lower bound of the jth variable, ubj is the upper bound of the jth variable, and r2, r3, and r4 are random numbers in [1][54].

Finally, one of the newest optimization algorithms is WOA. The WOA algorithm simulates the movement of prey and the whale’s discipline when looking for their prey. Among several species, Humpback whales have a specific method of hunting [55]. Humpback whales can recognize the location of prey and encircle it before hunting. The optimal design position in the search space is not known a priori, and the WOA algorithm assumes that the best candidate solution is either the target prey or close to the optimum. This foraging behavior is called the bubble-net feeding method. Two maneuvers are associated with bubbles: upward spirals and double loops. A unique behavior exhibited only by humpback whales is bubble-net feeding. In fact, The WOA algorithm starts with a set of random solutions. At each iteration, search agents update their positions for either a randomly chosen search agent or the best solution obtained so far [56][55]. When the best search agent is determined, the other search agents will attempt to update their positions toward that agent. It is important to note that humpback whales swim around their prey simultaneously in a circular, shrinking circle and along a spiral-shaped path. By using a mathematical model, the spiral bubble-net feeding maneuver is optimized. The following equation represents this behavior:(18)�→(�+1)=�′→·�bl·cos(2��)+�∗→(�)

Where:(19)�′→=|�∗→(�)-�→(�)|

X→(t+ 1) indicates the distance of the it h whale to the prey (best solution obtained so far),� is a constant for defining the shape of the logarithmic spiral, l is a random number in [−1, 1], and dot (.) is an element-by-element multiplication [55].

Comparing the four above-mentioned methods, simulations are run with 10 search agents for 400 iterations. In Figure 15, there are 20 plots the optimal values of different parameters in optimization algorithms. The five parameters of this study are freeboard, bottom elevations, number of ribs on the converter, rib thickness, and rib Height. The optimal value for each was found by optimization algorithms, naming WOA, MVO, MFO, and GWO. By looking through the first row, the freeboard parameter converges to its maximum possible value in the optimization process of GWO after 300 iterations. Similarly, MFO finds the same result as GWO. In contrast, the freeboard converges to its minimum possible value in MVO optimizing process, which indicates positioning the converter under the water. Furthermore, WOA found the optimal value of freeboard as around 0.02 after almost 200 iterations. In the second row, the bottom elevation is found at almost 0.11 (m) in all algorithms; however, the curves follow different trends in each algorithm. The third row shows the number of ribs, where results immediately reveal that it should be over 4. All algorithms coincide at 5 ribs as the optimal number in this process. The fourth row displays the trends of algorithms to find optimal rib thickness. MFO finds the optimal value early and sets it to around 0.022, while others find the same value in higher iterations. Finally, regarding the rib height, MVO, MFO, and GWO state that the optimal value is 0.06 meters, but WOA did not find a higher value than 0.039.

4.2. HCMVO Bi-level Approach

Despite several strong search characteristics of MVO and its high performance in various optimization problems, it suffers from a few deficiencies in local and global search mechanisms. For instance, it is trapped in the local optimum when wormholes stochastically generate many solutions near the best universe achieved throughout iterations, especially in solving complex multimodal problems with high dimensions [57]. Furthermore, MVO needs to be modified by an escaping strategy from the local optima to enhance the global search abilities. To address these shortages, we propose a fast and effective meta-algorithm (HCMVO) to combine MVO with a Random-restart hill-climbing local search. This meta-algorithm uses MVO on the upper level to develop global tracking and provide a range of feasible and proper solutions. The hill-climbing algorithm is designed to develop a comprehensive neighborhood search around the best-found solution proposed by the upper-level (MVO) when MVO is faced with a stagnation issue or falling into a local optimum. The performance threshold is formulated as follows.(20)Δ����THD=∑�=1�����TH��-����TH��-1�where BestTHDis the best-found solution per generation, andM is related to the domain of iterations to compute the average performance of MVO. If the proposed best solution by the local search is better than the initial one, the global best of MVO will be updated. HCMVO iteratively runs hill climbing when the performance of MVO goes down, each time with an initial condition to prepare for escaping such undesirable situations. In order to get a better balance between exploration and exploitation, the search step size linearly decreases as follows:(21)��=��-����Ma�iter��+1where iter and Maxiter are the current iteration and maximum number of evaluation, respectively. �� stands for the step size of the neighborhood search. Meanwhile, this strategy can improve the convergence rate of MVO compared with other algorithms.

Algorithm 1 shows the technical details of the proposed optimization method (HCMVO). The initial solution includes freeboard (�), bottom elevation (�), number of ribs (Nr), rib thickness (�), and rib height(�).

5. Conclusion

The high trend of diminishing worldwide energy resources has entailed a great crisis upon vulnerable societies. To withstand this effect, developing renewable energy technologies can open doors to a more reliable means, among which the wave energy converters will help the coastal residents and infrastructure. This paper set out to determine the optimized design for such devices that leads to the highest possible power output. The main goal of this research was to demonstrate the best design for an oscillating surge wave energy converter using a novel metaheuristic optimization algorithm. In this regard, the methodology was devised such that it argued the effects of influential parameters, including wave characteristics, WEC design, and interaction criteria.

To begin with, a numerical model was developed in Flow 3D software to simulate the response of the flap of a wave energy converter to incoming waves, followed by a validation study based upon a well-reputed experimental study to verify the accuracy of the model. Secondly, the hydrodynamics of the flap was investigated by incorporating the turbulence. The effect of depth, wave height, and wave period are also investigated in this part. The influence of two novel ideas on increasing the wave-converter interaction was then assessed: i) designing a flap with different widths in the upper and lower part, and ii) adding ribs on the surface of the flap. Finally, four trending single-objective metaheuristic optimization methods

Empty CellAlgorithm 1: Hill Climb Multiverse Optimization
01:procedure HCMVO
02:�=30,�=5▹���������������������������������
03:�=〈F1,B1,N,R,H1〉,…〈FN,B2,N,R,HN〉⇒lb1N⩽�⩽ubN
04:Initialize parameters�ER,�DR,�EP,Best�,���ite��▹Wormhole existence probability (WEP)
05:��=����(��)
06:��=Normalize the inflation rate��
07:for iter in[1,⋯,���iter]do
08:for�in[1,⋯,�]do
09:Update�EP,�DR,Black����Index=�
10:for���[1,⋯,�]��
11:�1=����()
12:if�1≤��(��)then
13:White HoleIndex=Roulette�heelSelection(-��)
14:�(Black HoleIndex,�)=��(White HoleIndex,�)
15:end if
16:�2=����([0,�])
17:if�2≤�EPthen
18:�3=����(),�4=����()
19:if�3<0.5then
20:�1=((��(�)-��(�))�4+��(�))
21:�(�,�)=Best�(�)+�DR�
22:else
23:�(�,�)=Best�(�)-�DR�
24:end if
25:end if
26:end for
27:end for
28:�HD=����([�1,�2,⋯,�Np])
29:Bes�TH�itr=����HD
30:ΔBestTHD=∑�=1�BestTII��-BestTII��-1�
31:ifΔBestTHD<��then▹Perform hill climbing local search
32:BestTHD=����-�lim��������THD
33:end if
34:end for
35:return�,BestTHD▹Final configuration
36:end procedure

The implementation details of the hill-climbing algorithm applied in HCMPA can be seen in Algorithm 2. One of the critical parameters isg, which denotes the resolution of the neighborhood search around the proposed global best by MVO. If we set a small step size for hill-climbing, the convergence speed will be decreased. On the other hand, a large step size reinforces the exploration ability. Still, it may reduce the exploitation ability and in return increase the act of jumping from a global optimum or surfaces with high-potential solutions. Per each decision variable, the neighborhood search evaluates two different direct searches, incremental or decremental. After assessing the generated solutions, the best candidate will be selected to iterate the search algorithm. It is noted that the hill-climbing algorithm should not be applied in the initial iteration of the optimization process due to the immense tendency for converging to local optima. Meanwhile, for optimizing largescale problems, hill-climbing is not an appropriate selection. In order to improve understanding of the proposed hybrid optimization algorithm’s steps, the flowchart of HCMVO is designed and can be seen in Figure 16.

Figure 17 shows the observed capture factor (which is the absorbed energy with respect to the available energy) by each optimization algorithm from iterations 1 to 400. The algorithms use ten search agents in their modified codes to find the optimal solutions. While GWO and MFO remain roughly constant after iterations 54 and 40, the other three algorithms keep improving the capture factor. In this case, HCMVO and MVO worked very well in the optimizing process with a capture factor obtained by the former as 0.594 and by the latter as 0.593. MFO almost found its highest value before the iteration 50, which means the exploration part of the algorithm works out well. Similarly, HCMVO does the same. However, it keeps finding the better solution during the optimization process until the last iteration, indicating the strong exploitation part of the algorithm. GWO reveals a weakness in exploration and exploitation because not only does it evoke the least capture factor value, but also the curve remains almost unchanged throughout 350 iterations.

Figure 18 illustrates complex interactions between the five optimization parameters and the capture factor for HCMVO (a), MPA (b), and MFO (c) algorithms. The first interesting observation is that there is a high level of nonlinear relationships among the setting parameters that can make a multi-modal search space. The dark blue lines represent the best-found configuration throughout the optimisation process. Based on both HCMVO (a) and MVO (b), we can infer that the dark blue lines concentrate in a specific range, showing the high convergence ability of both HCMVO and MVO. However, MFO (c) could not find the exact optimal range of the decision variables, and the best-found solutions per generation distribute mostly all around the search space.

Empty CellAlgorithm 1: Hill Climb Multiverse Optimization
01:procedure HCMVO
02:Initialization
03:Initialize the constraints��1�,��1�
04:�1�=Mi�1�+���1�/�▹Compute the step size,�is search resolution
05:So�1=〈�,�,�,�,�〉▹���������������
06:�������1=����So�1▹���������ℎ���������
07:Main loop
08:for iter≤���ita=do
09:���=���±��
10:while�≤���(Sol1)do
11:���=���+�,▹����ℎ���ℎ��������ℎ
12:fitness��iter=�������
13:t = t+1
14:end while
15:〈�����,������max〉=����������
16:���itev=���Inde�max▹�������ℎ�������������������������������ℎ�������
17:��=��-����Max��+1▹�����������������
18:end for
19:return���iter,����
20:end procedure

were utilized to illuminate the optimum values of the design parameters, and the best method was chosen to develop a new algorithm that performs both local and global search methods.

The correlation between hydrodynamic parameters and the capture factor of the converter was supported by the results. For any given water depth, the capture factor increases as the wave period increases, until a certain wave period value (6 seconds) is reached, after which the capture factor gradually decreases. It is expected since the flap cannot oscillate effectively when the wavelength is too short for a certain water depth. Conversely, when the wavelength is too long, the capture factor decreases. Furthermore, under a constant wave period, increasing the water depth does not affect the capture factor. Regarding the sensitivity analysis, the study found that increasing the flap bottom elevation causes turbulence flow behind the flap and limitation of rotation, which leads to less interaction with the incoming waves. Furthermore, while keeping the flap bottom elevation constant, increasing the freeboard improves the capture factor. Overtopping happens when the freeboard is negative and the flap is below the water surface, which has a detrimental influence on converter performance. Furthermore, raising the freeboard causes the wave impact to become more violent, which increases converter performance.

In the last part, we discussed the search process of each algorithm and visualized their performance and convergence curves as they try to find the best values for decision variables. Among the four selected metaheuristic algorithms, the Multi-verse Optimizer proved to be the most effective in achieving the best answer in terms of the WEC capture factor. However, the MVO needed modifications regarding its escape approach from the local optima in order to improve its global search capabilities. To overcome these constraints, we presented a fast and efficient meta-algorithm (HCMVO) that combines MVO with a Random-restart hill-climbing local search. On a higher level, this meta-algorithm employed MVO to generate global tracking and present a range of possible and appropriate solutions. Taken together, the results demonstrated that there is a significant degree of nonlinearity among the setup parameters that might result in a multimodal search space. Since MVO was faced with a stagnation issue or fell into a local optimum, we constructed a complete neighborhood search around the best-found solution offered by the upper level. In sum, the newly-developed algorithm proved to be highly effective for the problem compared to other similar optimization methods. The strength of the current findings may encourage future investigation on design optimization of wave energy converters using developed geometry as well as the novel approach.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Erfan Amini: Conceptualization, Methodology, Validation, Data curation, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Visualization. Mahdieh Nasiri: Conceptualization, Methodology, Validation, Data curation, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Visualization. Navid Salami Pargoo: Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing. Zahra Mozhgani: Conceptualization, Methodology. Danial Golbaz: Writing – original draft. Mehrdad Baniesmaeil: Writing – original draft. Meysam Majidi Nezhad: . Mehdi Neshat: Supervision, Conceptualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Visualization. Davide Astiaso Garcia: Supervision. Georgios Sylaios: Supervision.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Acknowledgement

This research has been carried out within ILIAD (Inte-grated Digital Framework for Comprehensive Maritime Data and Information Services) project that received funding from the European Union’s H2020 programme.

Data availability

Data will be made available on request.

References

Fluid Thermodynamic Simulation of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy in Laser Wire Deposition

Fluid Thermodynamic Simulation of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy in Laser Wire Deposition

Xiang WangLin-Jie ZhangJie Ning, and Suck-Joo Na
Published Online:8 Apr 2022https://doi.org/10.1089/3dp.2021.0159

Abstract

A 3D numerical model of heat transfer and fluid flow of molten pool in the process of laser wire deposition was presented by computational fluid dynamics technique. The simulation results of the deposition morphology were also compared with the experimental results under the condition of liquid bridge transfer mode. Moreover, they showed a good agreement. Considering the effect of recoil pressure, the morphology of the deposit metal obtained by the simulation was similar to the experiment result. Molten metal at the wire tip was peeled off and flowed into the molten pool, and then spread to both sides of the deposition layer under the recoil pressure. In addition, the results of simulation and high-speed charge-coupled device presented that a wedge transition zone, with a length of ∼6 mm, was formed behind the keyhole in the liquid bridge transfer process, where the height of deposited metal decreased gradually. After solidification, metal in the transition zone retained the original melt morphology, resulting in a decrease in the height of the tail of the deposition layer.

Keywords

LWD, CFD, liquid bridge transfer, fluid dynamics, wedge transition zone

Fluid Thermodynamic Simulation of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy in Laser Wire Deposition
Fluid Thermodynamic Simulation of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy in Laser Wire Deposition
Fluid Thermodynamic Simulation of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy in Laser Wire Deposition
Fluid Thermodynamic Simulation of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy in Laser Wire Deposition

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Figure 3.10: Snapshots of Temperature Profile for Single Track in Keyhole Regime (P = 250W and V = 0.5m/s) at the Preheating Temperature of 100 °C

Multiscale Process Modeling of Residual Deformation and Defect Formation for Laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing

Qian Chen, PhD
University of Pittsburgh, 2021

레이저 분말 베드 퓨전(L-PBF) 적층 제조(AM)는 우수한 기계적 특성으로 그물 모양에 가까운 복잡한 부품을 생산할 수 있습니다. 그러나 빌드 실패 및 다공성과 같은 결함으로 이어지는 원치 않는 잔류 응력 및 왜곡이 L-PBF의 광범위한 적용을 방해하고 있습니다.

L-PBF의 잠재력을 최대한 실현하기 위해 잔류 변형, 용융 풀 및 다공성 형성을 예측하는 다중 규모 모델링 방법론이 개발되었습니다. L-PBF의 잔류 변형 및 응력을 부품 규모에서 예측하기 위해 고유 변형 ​​방법을 기반으로 하는 다중 규모 프로세스 모델링 프레임워크가 제안됩니다.

고유한 변형 벡터는 마이크로 스케일에서 충실도가 높은 상세한 다층 프로세스 시뮬레이션에서 추출됩니다. 균일하지만 이방성인 변형은 잔류 왜곡 및 응력을 예측하기 위해 준 정적 평형 유한 요소 분석(FEA)에서 레이어별로 L-PBF 부품에 적용됩니다.

부품 규모에서의 잔류 변형 및 응력 예측 외에도 분말 규모의 다중물리 모델링을 수행하여 공정 매개변수, 예열 온도 및 스패터링 입자에 의해 유도된 용융 풀 변동 및 결함 형성을 연구합니다. 이러한 요인과 관련된 용융 풀 역학 및 다공성 형성 메커니즘은 시뮬레이션 및 실험을 통해 밝혀졌습니다.

제안된 부품 규모 잔류 응력 및 왜곡 모델을 기반으로 경로 계획 방법은 큰 잔류 변형 및 건물 파손을 방지하기 위해 주어진 형상에 대한 레이저 스캐닝 경로를 조정하기 위해 개발되었습니다.

연속 및 아일랜드 스캐닝 전략을 위한 기울기 기반 경로 계획이 공식화되고 공식화된 컴플라이언스 및 스트레스 최소화 문제에 대한 전체 감도 분석이 수행됩니다. 이 제안된 경로 계획 방법의 타당성과 효율성은 AconityONE L-PBF 시스템을 사용하여 실험적으로 입증되었습니다.

또한 기계 학습을 활용한 데이터 기반 프레임워크를 개발하여 L-PBF에 대한 부품 규모의 열 이력을 예측합니다. 본 연구에서는 실시간 열 이력 예측을 위해 CNN(Convolutional Neural Network)과 RNN(Recurrent Neural Network)을 포함하는 순차적 기계 학습 모델을 제안합니다.

유한 요소 해석과 비교하여 100배의 예측 속도 향상이 달성되어 실제 제작 프로세스보다 빠른 예측이 가능하고 실시간 온도 프로파일을 사용할 수 있습니다.

Laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) additive manufacturing (AM) is capable of producing complex parts near net shape with good mechanical properties. However, undesired residual stress and distortion that lead to build failure and defects such as porosity are preventing broader applications of L-PBF. To realize the full potential of L-PBF, a multiscale modeling methodology is developed to predict residual deformation, melt pool, and porosity formation. To predict the residual deformation and stress in L-PBF at part-scale, a multiscale process modeling framework based on inherent strain method is proposed.

Inherent strain vectors are extracted from detailed multi-layer process simulation with high fidelity at micro-scale. Uniform but anisotropic strains are then applied to L-PBF part in a layer-by-layer fashion in a quasi-static equilibrium finite element analysis (FEA) to predict residual distortion and stress. Besides residual distortion and stress prediction at part scale, multiphysics modeling at powder scale is performed to study the melt pool variation and defect formation induced by process parameters, preheating temperature and spattering particles. Melt pool dynamics and porosity formation mechanisms associated with these factors are revealed through simulation and experiments.

Based on the proposed part-scale residual stress and distortion model, path planning method is developed to tailor the laser scanning path for a given geometry to prevent large residual deformation and building failures. Gradient based path planning for continuous and island scanning strategy is formulated and full sensitivity analysis for the formulated compliance- and stress-minimization problem is performed.

The feasibility and effectiveness of this proposed path planning method is demonstrated experimentally using the AconityONE L-PBF system. In addition, a data-driven framework utilizing machine learning is developed to predict the thermal history at part-scale for L-PBF.

In this work, a sequential machine learning model including convolutional neural network (CNN) and recurrent neural network (RNN), long shortterm memory unit, is proposed for real-time thermal history prediction. A 100x prediction speed improvement is achieved compared to the finite element analysis which makes the prediction faster than real fabrication process and real-time temperature profile available.

Figure 1.1: Schematic Overview of Metal Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process [2]
Figure 1.1: Schematic Overview of Metal Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process [2]
Figure 1.2: Commercial Powder Bed Fusion Systems
Figure 1.2: Commercial Powder Bed Fusion Systems
Figure 1.3: Commercial Metal Components Fabricated by Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing: (a) GE Fuel Nozzle; (b) Stryker Hip Biomedical Implant.
Figure 1.3: Commercial Metal Components Fabricated by Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing: (a) GE Fuel Nozzle; (b) Stryker Hip Biomedical Implant.
Figure 2.1: Proposed Multiscale Process Simulation Framework
Figure 2.1: Proposed Multiscale Process Simulation Framework
Figure 2.2: (a) Experimental Setup for In-situ Thermocouple Measurement in the EOS M290 Build Chamber; (b) Themocouple Locations on the Bottom Side of the Substrate.
Figure 2.2: (a) Experimental Setup for In-situ Thermocouple Measurement in the EOS M290 Build Chamber; (b) Themocouple Locations on the Bottom Side of the Substrate.
Figure 2.3: (a) Finite Element Model for Single Layer Thermal Analysis; (b) Deposition Layer
Figure 2.3: (a) Finite Element Model for Single Layer Thermal Analysis; (b) Deposition Layer
Figure 2.4: Core-skin layer: (a) Surface Morphology; (b) Scanning Strategy; (c) Transient Temperature Distribution and Temperature History at (d) Point 1; (e) Point 2 and (f) Point 3
Figure 2.4: Core-skin layer: (a) Surface Morphology; (b) Scanning Strategy; (c) Transient Temperature Distribution and Temperature History at (d) Point 1; (e) Point 2 and (f) Point 3
Figure 2.5: (a) Scanning Orientation of Each Layer; (b) Finite Element Model for Micro-scale Representative Volume
Figure 2.5: (a) Scanning Orientation of Each Layer; (b) Finite Element Model for Micro-scale Representative Volume
Figure 2.6: Bottom Layer (a) Thermal History; (b) Plastic Strain and (c) Elastic Strain Evolution History
Figure 2.6: Bottom Layer (a) Thermal History; (b) Plastic Strain and (c) Elastic Strain Evolution History
Figure 2.7: Bottom Layer Inherent Strain under Default Process Parameters along Horizontal Scanning Path
Figure 2.7: Bottom Layer Inherent Strain under Default Process Parameters along Horizontal Scanning Path
Figure 2.8: Snapshots of the Element Activation Process
Figure 2.8: Snapshots of the Element Activation Process
Figure 2.9: Double Cantilever Beam Structure Built by the EOS M290 DMLM Process (a) Before and (b) After Cutting off; (c) Faro Laser ScanArm V3 for Distortion Measurement
Figure 2.9: Double Cantilever Beam Structure Built by the EOS M290 DMLM Process (a) Before and (b) After Cutting off; (c) Faro Laser ScanArm V3 for Distortion Measurement
Figure 2.10: Square Canonical Structure Built by the EOS M290 DMLM Process
Figure 2.10: Square Canonical Structure Built by the EOS M290 DMLM Process
Figure 2.11: Finite Element Mesh for the Square Canonical and Snapshots of Element Activation Process
Figure 2.11: Finite Element Mesh for the Square Canonical and Snapshots of Element Activation Process
Figure 2.12: Simulated Distortion Field for the Double Cantilever Beam before Cutting off the Supports: (a) Inherent Strain Method; (b) Simufact Additive 3.1
Figure 2.12: Simulated Distortion Field for the Double Cantilever Beam before Cutting off the Supports: (a) Inherent Strain Method; (b) Simufact Additive 3.1
Figure 3.10: Snapshots of Temperature Profile for Single Track in Keyhole Regime (P = 250W and V = 0.5m/s) at the Preheating Temperature of 100 °C
Figure 3.10: Snapshots of Temperature Profile for Single Track in Keyhole Regime (P = 250W and V = 0.5m/s) at the Preheating Temperature of 100 °C
s) at the Preheating Temperature of 500 °C
s) at the Preheating Temperature of 500 °C
Figure 3.15: Melt Pool Cross Section Comparison Between Simulation and Experiment for Single Track
Figure 3.15: Melt Pool Cross Section Comparison Between Simulation and Experiment for Single Track

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Figure 3 Simulation PTC pipes enhanced with copper foam and nanoparticles in FLOW-3D software.

다공성 미디어 및 나노유체에 의해 강화된 수집기로 태양광 CCHP 시스템의 최적화

Optimization of Solar CCHP Systems with Collector Enhanced by Porous Media and Nanofluid


Navid Tonekaboni,1Mahdi Feizbahr,2 Nima Tonekaboni,1Guang-Jun Jiang,3,4 and Hong-Xia Chen3,4

Abstract

태양열 집열기의 낮은 효율은 CCHP(Solar Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power) 사이클의 문제점 중 하나로 언급될 수 있습니다. 태양계를 개선하기 위해 나노유체와 다공성 매체가 태양열 집열기에 사용됩니다.

다공성 매질과 나노입자를 사용하는 장점 중 하나는 동일한 조건에서 더 많은 에너지를 흡수할 수 있다는 것입니다. 이 연구에서는 평균 일사량이 1b인 따뜻하고 건조한 지역의 600 m2 건물의 전기, 냉방 및 난방을 생성하기 위해 다공성 매질과 나노유체를 사용하여 태양열 냉난방 복합 발전(SCCHP) 시스템을 최적화했습니다.

본 논문에서는 침전물이 형성되지 않는 lb = 820 w/m2(이란) 정도까지 다공성 물질에서 나노유체의 최적량을 계산하였다. 이 연구에서 태양열 집열기는 구리 다공성 매체(95% 다공성)와 CuO 및 Al2O3 나노 유체로 향상되었습니다.

나노유체의 0.1%-0.6%가 작동 유체로 물에 추가되었습니다. 나노유체의 0.5%가 태양열 집열기 및 SCCHP 시스템에서 가장 높은 에너지 및 엑서지 효율 향상으로 이어지는 것으로 밝혀졌습니다.

본 연구에서 포물선형 집열기(PTC)의 최대 에너지 및 엑서지 효율은 각각 74.19% 및 32.6%입니다. 그림 1은 태양 CCHP의 주기를 정확하게 설명하기 위한 그래픽 초록으로 언급될 수 있습니다.

The low efficiency of solar collectors can be mentioned as one of the problems in solar combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) cycles. For improving solar systems, nanofluid and porous media are used in solar collectors. One of the advantages of using porous media and nanoparticles is to absorb more energy under the same conditions. In this research, a solar combined cooling, heating, and power (SCCHP) system has been optimized by porous media and nanofluid for generating electricity, cooling, and heating of a 600 m2 building in a warm and dry region with average solar radiation of Ib = 820 w/m2 in Iran. In this paper, the optimal amount of nanofluid in porous materials has been calculated to the extent that no sediment is formed. In this study, solar collectors were enhanced with copper porous media (95% porosity) and CuO and Al2O3 nanofluids. 0.1%–0.6% of the nanofluids were added to water as working fluids; it is found that 0.5% of the nanofluids lead to the highest energy and exergy efficiency enhancement in solar collectors and SCCHP systems. Maximum energy and exergy efficiency of parabolic thermal collector (PTC) riches in this study are 74.19% and 32.6%, respectively. Figure 1 can be mentioned as a graphical abstract for accurately describing the cycle of solar CCHP.

1. Introduction

Due to the increase in energy consumption, the use of clean energy is one of the important goals of human societies. In the last four decades, the use of cogeneration cycles has increased significantly due to high efficiency. Among clean energy, the use of solar energy has become more popular due to its greater availability [1]. Low efficiency of energy production, transmission, and distribution system makes a new system to generate simultaneously electricity, heating, and cooling as an essential solution to be widely used. The low efficiency of the electricity generation, transmission, and distribution system makes the CCHP system a basic solution to eliminate waste of energy. CCHP system consists of a prime mover (PM), a power generator, a heat recovery system (produce extra heating/cooling/power), and thermal energy storage (TES) [2]. Solar combined cooling, heating, and power (SCCHP) has been started three decades ago. SCCHP is a system that receives its propulsive force from solar energy; in this cycle, solar collectors play the role of propulsive for generating power in this system [3].

Increasing the rate of energy consumption in the whole world because of the low efficiency of energy production, transmission, and distribution system causes a new cogeneration system to generate electricity, heating, and cooling energy as an essential solution to be widely used. Building energy utilization fundamentally includes power required for lighting, home electrical appliances, warming and cooling of building inside, and boiling water. Domestic usage contributes to an average of 35% of the world’s total energy consumption [4].

Due to the availability of solar energy in all areas, solar collectors can be used to obtain the propulsive power required for the CCHP cycle. Solar energy is the main source of energy in renewable applications. For selecting a suitable area to use solar collectors, annual sunshine hours, the number of sunny days, minus temperature and frosty days, and the windy status of the region are essentially considered [5]. Iran, with an average of more than 300 sunny days, is one of the suitable countries to use solar energy. Due to the fact that most of the solar radiation is in the southern regions of Iran, also the concentration of cities is low in these areas, and transmission lines are far apart, one of the best options is to use CCHP cycles based on solar collectors [6]. One of the major problems of solar collectors is their low efficiency [7]. Low efficiency increases the area of collectors, which increases the initial cost of solar systems and of course increases the initial payback period. To increase the efficiency of solar collectors and improve their performance, porous materials and nanofluids are used to increase their workability.

There are two ways to increase the efficiency of solar collectors and mechanical and fluid improvement. In the first method, using porous materials or helical filaments inside the collector pipes causes turbulence of the flow and increases heat transfer. In the second method, using nanofluids or salt and other materials increases the heat transfer of water. The use of porous materials has grown up immensely over the past twenty years. Porous materials, especially copper porous foam, are widely used in solar collectors. Due to the high contact surface area, porous media are appropriate candidates for solar collectors [8]. A number of researchers investigated Solar System performance in accordance with energy and exergy analyses. Zhai et al. [9] reviewed the performance of a small solar-powered system in which the energy efficiency was 44.7% and the electrical efficiency was 16.9%.

Abbasi et al. [10] proposed an innovative multiobjective optimization to optimize the design of a cogeneration system. Results showed the CCHP system based on an internal diesel combustion engine was the applicable alternative at all regions with different climates. The diesel engine can supply the electrical requirement of 31.0% and heating demand of 3.8% for building.

Jiang et al. [11] combined the experiment and simulation together to analyze the performance of a cogeneration system. Moreover, some research focused on CCHP systems using solar energy. It integrated sustainable and renewable technologies in the CCHP, like PV, Stirling engine, and parabolic trough collector (PTC) [21215].

Wang et al. [16] optimized a cogeneration solar cooling system with a Rankine cycle and ejector to reach the maximum total system efficiency of 55.9%. Jing et al. analyzed a big-scale building with the SCCHP system and auxiliary heaters to produced electrical, cooling, and heating power. The maximum energy efficiency reported in their work is 46.6% [17]. Various optimization methods have been used to improve the cogeneration system, minimum system size, and performance, such as genetic algorithm [1819].

Hirasawa et al. [20] investigated the effect of using porous media to reduce thermal waste in solar systems. They used the high-porosity metal foam on top of the flat plate solar collector and observed that thermal waste decreased by 7% due to natural heat transfer. Many researchers study the efficiency improvement of the solar collector by changing the collector’s shapes or working fluids. However, the most effective method is the use of nanofluids in the solar collector as working fluid [21]. In the experimental study done by Jouybari et al. [22], the efficiency enhancement up to 8.1% was achieved by adding nanofluid in a flat plate collector. In this research, by adding porous materials to the solar collector, collector efficiency increased up to 92% in a low flow regime. Subramani et al. [23] analyzed the thermal performance of the parabolic solar collector with Al2O3 nanofluid. They conducted their experiments with Reynolds number range 2401 to 7202 and mass flow rate 0.0083 to 0.05 kg/s. The maximum efficiency improvement in this experiment was 56% at 0.05 kg/s mass flow rate.

Shojaeizadeh et al. [24] investigated the analysis of the second law of thermodynamic on the flat plate solar collector using Al2O3/water nanofluid. Their research showed that energy efficiency rose up to 1.9% and the exergy efficiency increased by a maximum of 0.72% compared to pure water. Tiwari et al. [25] researched on the thermal performance of solar flat plate collectors for working fluid water with different nanofluids. The result showed that using 1.5% (optimum) particle volume fraction of Al2O3 nanofluid as an absorbing medium causes the thermal efficiency to enhance up to 31.64%.

The effect of porous media and nanofluids on solar collectors has already been investigated in the literature but the SCCHP system with a collector embedded by both porous media and nanofluid for enhancing the ratio of nanoparticle in nanofluid for preventing sedimentation was not discussed. In this research, the amount of energy and exergy of the solar CCHP cycles with parabolic solar collectors in both base and improved modes with a porous material (copper foam with 95% porosity) and nanofluid with different ratios of nanoparticles was calculated. In the first step, it is planned to design a CCHP system based on the required load, and, in the next step, it will analyze the energy and exergy of the system in a basic and optimize mode. In the optimize mode, enhanced solar collectors with porous material and nanofluid in different ratios (0.1%–0.7%) were used to optimize the ratio of nanofluids to prevent sedimentation.

2. Cycle Description

CCHP is one of the methods to enhance energy efficiency and reduce energy loss and costs. The SCCHP system used a solar collector as a prime mover of the cogeneration system and assisted the boiler to generate vapor for the turbine. Hot water flows from the expander to the absorption chiller in summer or to the radiator or fan coil in winter. Finally, before the hot water wants to flow back to the storage tank, it flows inside a heat exchanger for generating domestic hot water [26].

For designing of solar cogeneration system and its analysis, it is necessary to calculate the electrical, heating (heating load is the load required for the production of warm water and space heating), and cooling load required for the case study considered in a residential building with an area of 600 m2 in the warm region of Iran (Zahedan). In Table 1, the average of the required loads is shown for the different months of a year (average of electrical, heating, and cooling load calculated with CARRIER software).Table 1 The average amount of electric charges, heating load, and cooling load used in the different months of the year in the city of Zahedan for a residential building with 600 m2.

According to Table 1, the maximum magnitude of heating, cooling, and electrical loads is used to calculate the cogeneration system. The maximum electric load is 96 kW, the maximum amount of heating load is 62 kW, and the maximum cooling load is 118 kW. Since the calculated loads are average, all loads increased up to 10% for the confidence coefficient. With the obtained values, the solar collector area and other cogeneration system components are calculated. The cogeneration cycle is capable of producing 105 kW electric power, 140 kW cooling capacity, and 100 kW heating power.

2.1. System Analysis Equations

An analysis is done by considering the following assumptions:(1)The system operates under steady-state conditions(2)The system is designed for the warm region of Iran (Zahedan) with average solar radiation Ib = 820 w/m2(3)The pressure drops in heat exchangers, separators, storage tanks, and pipes are ignored(4)The pressure drop is negligible in all processes and no expectable chemical reactions occurred in the processes(5)Potential, kinetic, and chemical exergy are not considered due to their insignificance(6)Pumps have been discontinued due to insignificance throughout the process(7)All components are assumed adiabatic

Schematic shape of the cogeneration cycle is shown in Figure 1 and all data are given in Table 2.

Figure 1 Schematic shape of the cogeneration cycle.Table 2 Temperature and humidity of different points of system.

Based on the first law of thermodynamic, energy analysis is based on the following steps.

First of all, the estimated solar radiation energy on collector has been calculated:where α is the heat transfer enhancement coefficient based on porous materials added to the collector’s pipes. The coefficient α is increased by the porosity percentage, the type of porous material (in this case, copper with a porosity percentage of 95), and the flow of fluid to the collector equation.

Collector efficiency is going to be calculated by the following equation [9]:

Total energy received by the collector is given by [9]

Also, the auxiliary boiler heat load is [2]

Energy consumed from vapor to expander is calculated by [2]

The power output form by the screw expander [9]:

The efficiency of the expander is 80% in this case [11].

In this step, cooling and heating loads were calculated and then, the required heating load to reach sanitary hot water will be calculated as follows:

First step: calculating the cooling load with the following equation [9]:

Second step: calculating heating loads [9]:

Then, calculating the required loud for sanitary hot water will be [9]

According to the above-mentioned equations, efficiency is [9]

In the third step, calculated exergy analysis as follows.

First, the received exergy collector from the sun is calculated [9]:

In the previous equation, f is the constant of air dilution.

The received exergy from the collector is [9]

In the case of using natural gas in an auxiliary heater, the gas exergy is calculated from the following equation [12]:

Delivering exergy from vapor to expander is calculated with the following equation [9]:

In the fourth step, the exergy in cooling and heating is calculated by the following equation:

Cooling exergy in summer is calculated [9]:

Heating exergy in winter is calculated [9]:

In the last step based on thermodynamic second law, exergy efficiency has been calculated from the following equation and the above-mentioned calculated loads [9]:

3. Porous Media

The porous medium that filled the test section is copper foam with a porosity of 95%. The foams are determined in Figure 2 and also detailed thermophysical parameters and dimensions are shown in Table 3.

Figure 2 Copper foam with a porosity of 95%.Table 3 Thermophysical parameters and dimensions of copper foam.

In solar collectors, copper porous materials are suitable for use at low temperatures and have an easier and faster manufacturing process than ceramic porous materials. Due to the high coefficient conductivity of copper, the use of copper metallic foam to increase heat transfer is certainly more efficient in solar collectors.

Porous media and nanofluid in solar collector’s pipes were simulated in FLOW-3D software using the finite-difference method [27]. Nanoparticles Al2O3 and CUO are mostly used in solar collector enhancement. In this research, different concentrations of nanofluid are added to the parabolic solar collectors with porous materials (copper foam with porosity of 95%) to achieve maximum heat transfer in the porous materials before sedimentation. After analyzing PTC pipes with the nanofluid flow in FLOW-3D software, for energy and exergy efficiency analysis, Carrier software results were used as EES software input. Simulation PTC with porous media inside collector pipe and nanofluids sedimentation is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 Simulation PTC pipes enhanced with copper foam and nanoparticles in FLOW-3D software.

3.1. Nano Fluid

In this research, copper and silver nanofluids (Al2O3, CuO) have been added with percentages of 0.1%–0.7% as the working fluids. The nanoparticle properties are given in Table 4. Also, system constant parameters are presented in Table 4, which are available as default input in the EES software.Table 4 Properties of the nanoparticles [9].

System constant parameters for input in the software are shown in Table 5.Table 5 System constant parameters.

The thermal properties of the nanofluid can be obtained from equations (18)–(21). The basic fluid properties are indicated by the index (bf) and the properties of the nanoparticle silver with the index (np).

The density of the mixture is shown in the following equation [28]:where ρ is density and ϕ is the nanoparticles volume fraction.

The specific heat capacity is calculated from the following equation [29]:

The thermal conductivity of the nanofluid is calculated from the following equation [29]:

The parameter β is the ratio of the nanolayer thickness to the original particle radius and, usually, this parameter is taken equal to 0.1 for the calculated thermal conductivity of the nanofluids.

The mixture viscosity is calculated as follows [30]:

In all equations, instead of water properties, working fluids with nanofluid are used. All of the above equations and parameters are entered in the EES software for calculating the energy and exergy of solar collectors and the SCCHP cycle. All calculation repeats for both nanofluids with different concentrations of nanofluid in the solar collector’s pipe.

4. Results and Discussion

In the present study, relations were written according to Wang et al. [16] and the system analysis was performed to ensure the correctness of the code. The energy and exergy charts are plotted based on the main values of the paper and are shown in Figures 4 and 5. The error rate in this simulation is 1.07%.

Figure 4 Verification charts of energy analysis results.

Figure 5 Verification charts of exergy analysis results.

We may also investigate the application of machine learning paradigms [3141] and various hybrid, advanced optimization approaches that are enhanced in terms of exploration and intensification [4255], and intelligent model studies [5661] as well, for example, methods such as particle swarm optimizer (PSO) [6062], differential search (DS) [63], ant colony optimizer (ACO) [616465], Harris hawks optimizer (HHO) [66], grey wolf optimizer (GWO) [5367], differential evolution (DE) [6869], and other fusion and boosted systems [4146485054557071].

At the first step, the collector is modified with porous copper foam material. 14 cases have been considered for the analysis of the SCCHP system (Table 6). It should be noted that the adding of porous media causes an additional pressure drop inside the collector [922263072]. All fourteen cases use copper foam with a porosity of 95 percent. To simulate the effect of porous materials and nanofluids, the first solar PTC pipes have been simulated in the FLOW-3D software and then porous media (copper foam with porosity of 95%) and fluid flow with nanoparticles (AL2O3 and CUO) are generated in the software. After analyzing PTC pipes in FLOW-3D software, for analyzing energy and exergy efficiency, software outputs were used as EES software input for optimization ratio of sedimentation and calculating energy and exergy analyses.Table 6 Collectors with different percentages of nanofluids and porous media.

In this research, an enhanced solar collector with both porous media and Nanofluid is investigated. In the present study, 0.1–0.5% CuO and Al2O3 concentration were added to the collector fully filled by porous media to achieve maximum energy and exergy efficiencies of solar CCHP systems. All steps of the investigation are shown in Table 6.

Energy and exergy analyses of parabolic solar collectors and SCCHP systems are shown in Figures 6 and 7.

Figure 6 Energy and exergy efficiencies of the PTC with porous media and nanofluid.

Figure 7 Energy and exergy efficiency of the SCCHP.

Results show that the highest energy and exergy efficiencies are 74.19% and 32.6%, respectively, that is achieved in Step 12 (parabolic collectors with filled porous media and 0.5% Al2O3). In the second step, the maximum energy efficiency of SCCHP systems with fourteen steps of simulation are shown in Figure 7.

In the second step, where 0.1, −0.6% of the nanofluids were added, it is found that 0.5% leads to the highest energy and exergy efficiency enhancement in solar collectors and SCCHP systems. Using concentrations more than 0.5% leads to sediment in the solar collector’s pipe and a decrease of porosity in the pipe [73]. According to Figure 7, maximum energy and exergy efficiencies of SCCHP are achieved in Step 12. In this step energy efficiency is 54.49% and exergy efficiency is 18.29%. In steps 13 and 14, with increasing concentration of CUO and Al2O3 nanofluid solution in porous materials, decreasing of energy and exergy efficiency of PTC and SCCHP system at the same time happened. This decrease in efficiency is due to the formation of sediment in the porous material. Calculations and simulations have shown that porous materials more than 0.5% nanofluids inside the collector pipe cause sediment and disturb the porosity of porous materials and pressure drop and reduce the coefficient of performance of the cogeneration system. Most experience showed that CUO and AL2O3 nanofluids with less than 0.6% percent solution are used in the investigation on the solar collectors at low temperatures and discharges [74]. One of the important points of this research is that the best ratio of nanofluids in the solar collector with a low temperature is 0.5% (AL2O3 and CUO); with this replacement, the cost of solar collectors and SCCHP cycle is reduced.

5. Conclusion and Future Directions

In the present study, ways for increasing the efficiency of solar collectors in order to enhance the efficiency of the SCCHP cycle are examined. The research is aimed at adding both porous materials and nanofluids for estimating the best ratio of nanofluid for enhanced solar collector and protecting sedimentation in porous media. By adding porous materials (copper foam with porosity of 95%) and 0.5% nanofluids together, high efficiency in solar parabolic collectors can be achieved. The novelty in this research is the addition of both nanofluids and porous materials and calculating the best ratio for preventing sedimentation and pressure drop in solar collector’s pipe. In this study, it was observed that, by adding 0.5% of AL2O3 nanofluid in working fluids, the energy efficiency of PTC rises to 74.19% and exergy efficiency is grown up to 32.6%. In SCCHP cycle, energy efficiency is 54.49% and exergy efficiency is 18.29%.

In this research, parabolic solar collectors fully filled by porous media (copper foam with a porosity of 95) are investigated. In the next step, parabolic solar collectors in the SCCHP cycle were simultaneously filled by porous media and different percentages of Al2O3 and CuO nanofluid. At this step, values of 0.1% to 0.6% of each nanofluid were added to the working fluid, and the efficiency of the energy and exergy of the collectors and the SCCHP cycle were determined. In this case, nanofluid and the porous media were used together in the solar collector and maximum efficiency achieved. 0.5% of both nanofluids were used to achieve the biggest efficiency enhancement.

In the present study, as expected, the highest efficiency is for the parabolic solar collector fully filled by porous material (copper foam with a porosity of 95%) and 0.5% Al2O3. Results of the present study are as follows:(1)The average enhancement of collectors’ efficiency using porous media and nanofluids is 28%.(2)Solutions with 0.1 to 0.5% of nanofluids (CuO and Al2O3) are used to prevent collectors from sediment occurrence in porous media.(3)Collector of solar cogeneration cycles that is enhanced by both porous media and nanofluid has higher efficiency, and the stability of output temperature is more as well.(4)By using 0.6% of the nanofluids in the enhanced parabolic solar collectors with copper porous materials, sedimentation occurs and makes a high-pressure drop in the solar collector’s pipe which causes decrease in energy efficiency.(5)Average enhancement of SCCHP cycle efficiency is enhanced by both porous media and nanofluid 13%.

Nomenclature

:Solar radiation
a:Heat transfer augmentation coefficient
A:Solar collector area
Bf:Basic fluid
:Specific heat capacity of the nanofluid
F:Constant of air dilution
:Thermal conductivity of the nanofluid
:Thermal conductivity of the basic fluid
:Viscosity of the nanofluid
:Viscosity of the basic fluid
:Collector efficiency
:Collector energy receives
:Auxiliary boiler heat
:Expander energy
:Gas energy
:Screw expander work
:Cooling load, in kilowatts
:Heating load, in kilowatts
:Solar radiation energy on collector, in Joule
:Sanitary hot water load
Np:Nanoparticle
:Energy efficiency
:Heat exchanger efficiency
:Sun exergy
:Collector exergy
:Natural gas exergy
:Expander exergy
:Cooling exergy
:Heating exergy
:Exergy efficiency
:Steam mass flow rate
:Hot water mass flow rate
:Specific heat capacity of water
:Power output form by the screw expander
Tam:Average ambient temperature
:Density of the mixture.

Greek symbols

ρ:Density
ϕ:Nanoparticles volume fraction
β:Ratio of the nanolayer thickness.

Abbreviations

CCHP:Combined cooling, heating, and power
EES:Engineering equation solver.

Data Availability

For this study, data were generated by CARRIER software for the average electrical, heating, and cooling load of a residential building with 600 m2 in the city of Zahedan, Iran.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Acknowledgments

This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Contract no. 71761030 and Natural Science Foundation of Inner Mongolia under Contract no. 2019LH07003.

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Energy and exergy analysis of an enhanced solar CCHP system with a collector embedded by porous media and nano fluid

Energy and exergy analysis of an enhanced solar CCHP system with a collector embedded by porous media and nano fluid

Year 2021, Volume 7, Issue 6, 1489 – 1505, 02.09.2021

N. TONEKABONI  H. SALARIAN  M. Eshagh NIMVARI  J. KHALEGHINIA https://doi.org/10.18186/thermal.990897

Abstract

The low efficiency of Collectors that absorb energy can be mentioned as one of the drawbacks in solar cogeneration cycles. In the present study, solar systems have been improved by adding porous media and Nanofluid to collectors. One advantage of using porous media and nanomaterials is to absorb more energy while the surface area is reduced. In this study, first, solar collectors are enhanced using 90% porosity copper in solar combined cooling, heating and power systems (SCCHP). Second, different percentages of CuO and Al2O3 nano-fluids are added to a flat plate and parabolic collectors to enhance thermal properties. Simulations are performed in different modes (simple parabolic collectors, simple flat plate collectors, improved flat plate collectors, parabolic collectors with porous media, and flat plate and parabolic collectors with different density of CuO and Al2O3 nanofluids). A case study is investigated for warm and dry regions with mean solar radiation Ib = 820 w / m2 in Iran. The maximum energy and exergy efficiencies are 60.12% and 18.84%, respectively, that is related to enhanced parabolic solar collectors with porous media and nanofluids. Adding porous media and nano-fluids increases an average 14.4% collector energy efficiency and 8.08% collector exergy efficiency.

Keywords

Exergy analysisSolar cogeneration systemPorous mediaNanofluid

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Details

Primary LanguageEnglish
SubjectsEngineering
Journal SectionArticles
AuthorsN. TONEKABONI  This is me
Islamic Azad University Nour Branch
0000-0002-1563-4407
IranH. SALARIAN  This is me (Primary Author)
Islamic Azad University Nour Branch
0000-0002-2161-0276
IranM. Eshagh NIMVARI  This is me
Amol University of Special Modern Technologies
0000-0002-7401-315X
IranJ. KHALEGHINIA  This is me
Islamic Azad University Nour Branch
0000-0001-5357-193X
Iran
Publication DateSeptember 2, 2021
Application DateDecember 28, 2020
Acceptance DateMay 9, 2020
Published in IssueYear 2021, Volume 7, Issue 6
Figure 2. (a) Scanning electron microscopy images of Ti6Al4V powder particles and (b) simulated powder bed using discrete element modelling

Laser Powder Bed에서 Laser Drilling에 의한 Keyhole 형성 Ti6Al4V 생체 의학 합금의 융합: 메조스코픽 전산유체역학 시뮬레이션 대 경험적 검증을 사용한 수학적 모델링

Keyhole Formation by Laser Drilling in Laser Powder Bed Fusion of Ti6Al4V Biomedical Alloy: Mesoscopic Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation versus Mathematical Modelling Using Empirical Validation

Asif Ur Rehman 1,2,3,*
,† , Muhammad Arif Mahmood 4,*
,† , Fatih Pitir 1
, Metin Uymaz Salamci 2,3
,
Andrei C. Popescu 4 and Ion N. Mihailescu 4

Abstract

LPBF(Laser Powder Bed fusion) 공정에서 작동 조건은 열 분포를 기반으로 레이저 유도 키홀 영역을 결정하는 데 필수적입니다. 얕은 구멍과 깊은 구멍으로 분류되는 이러한 영역은 LPBF 프로세스에서 확률과 결함 형성 강도를 제어합니다.

LPBF 프로세스의 핵심 구멍을 연구하고 제어하기 위해 수학적 및 CFD(전산 유체 역학) 모델이 제공됩니다. CFD의 경우 이산 요소 모델링 기법을 사용한 유체 체적 방법이 사용되었으며, 분말 베드 보이드 및 표면에 의한 레이저 빔 흡수를 포함하여 수학적 모델이 개발되었습니다.

동적 용융 풀 거동을 자세히 살펴봅니다. 실험적, CFD 시뮬레이션 및 분석적 컴퓨팅 결과 간에 정량적 비교가 수행되어 좋은 일치를 얻습니다.

LPBF에서 레이저 조사 영역 주변의 온도는 높은 내열성과 분말 입자 사이의 공기로 인해 분말층 주변에 비해 급격히 상승하여 레이저 횡방향 열파의 이동이 느려집니다. LPBF에서 키홀은 에너지 밀도에 의해 제어되는 얕고 깊은 키홀 모드로 분류될 수 있습니다. 에너지 밀도를 높이면 얕은 키홀 구멍 모드가 깊은 키홀 구멍 모드로 바뀝니다.

깊은 키홀 구멍의 에너지 밀도는 다중 반사와 키홀 구멍 내의 2차 반사 빔의 집중으로 인해 더 높아져 재료가 빠르게 기화됩니다.

깊은 키홀 구멍 모드에서는 온도 분포가 높기 때문에 액체 재료가 기화 온도에 가까우므로 얕은 키홀 구멍보다 구멍이 형성될 확률이 훨씬 높습니다. 온도가 급격히 상승하면 재료 밀도가 급격히 떨어지므로 비열과 융해 잠열로 인해 유체 부피가 증가합니다.

그 대가로 표면 장력을 낮추고 용융 풀 균일성에 영향을 미칩니다.

In the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process, the operating conditions are essential in determining laser-induced keyhole regimes based on the thermal distribution. These regimes, classified into shallow and deep keyholes, control the probability and defects formation intensity in the LPBF process. To study and control the keyhole in the LPBF process, mathematical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models are presented. For CFD, the volume of fluid method with the discrete element modeling technique was used, while a mathematical model was developed by including the laser beam absorption by the powder bed voids and surface. The dynamic melt pool behavior is explored in detail. Quantitative comparisons are made among experimental, CFD simulation and analytical computing results leading to a good correspondence. In LPBF, the temperature around the laser irradiation zone rises rapidly compared to the surroundings in the powder layer due to the high thermal resistance and the air between the powder particles, resulting in a slow travel of laser transverse heat waves. In LPBF, the keyhole can be classified into shallow and deep keyhole mode, controlled by the energy density. Increasing the energy density, the shallow keyhole mode transforms into the deep keyhole mode. The energy density in a deep keyhole is higher due to the multiple reflections and concentrations of secondary reflected beams within the keyhole, causing the material to vaporize quickly. Due to an elevated temperature distribution in deep keyhole mode, the probability of pores forming is much higher than in a shallow keyhole as the liquid material is close to the vaporization temperature. When the temperature increases rapidly, the material density drops quickly, thus, raising the fluid volume due to the specific heat and fusion latent heat. In return, this lowers the surface tension and affects the melt pool uniformity.

Keywords: laser powder bed fusion; computational fluid dynamics; analytical modelling; shallow
and deep keyhole modes; experimental correlation

Figure 1. Powder bed schematic with voids.
Figure 1. Powder bed schematic with voids.
Figure 2. (a) Scanning electron microscopy images of Ti6Al4V powder particles and (b) simulated powder bed using discrete element modelling
Figure 2. (a) Scanning electron microscopy images of Ti6Al4V powder particles and (b) simulated powder bed using discrete element modelling
Figure 3. Temperature field contour formation at various time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms.
Figure 3. Temperature field contour formation at various time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms.
Figure 4. Detailed view of shallow depth melt mode with temperature field at 0.695 ms
Figure 4. Detailed view of shallow depth melt mode with temperature field at 0.695 ms
Figure 5. Melt flow stream traces formation at various time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms
Figure 5. Melt flow stream traces formation at various time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms
Figure 6. Density evolution of the melt pool at various time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms.
Figure 6. Density evolution of the melt pool at various time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms.
Figure 7. Un-melted and melted regions at different time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms
Figure 7. Un-melted and melted regions at different time intervals (a) 0.695 ms, (b) 0.795 ms, (c) 0.995 ms and (d) 1.3 ms
Figure 8. Transformation from shallow depth melt flow to deep keyhole formation when laser power increased from (a) 170 W to (b) 200 W
Figure 8. Transformation from shallow depth melt flow to deep keyhole formation when laser power increased from (a) 170 W to (b) 200 W
Figure 9. Stream traces and laser beam multiple reflections in deep keyhole melt flow mode
Figure 9. Stream traces and laser beam multiple reflections in deep keyhole melt flow mode
Figure 10. A comparison between analytical and CFD simulation results for peak thermal distribution value in the deep keyhole formation
Figure 10. A comparison between analytical and CFD simulation results for peak thermal distribution value in the deep keyhole formation
Figure 11. A comparison among experiments [49], CFD and analytical simulations for deep keyhole top width and bottom width
Figure 11. A comparison among experiments [49], CFD and analytical simulations for deep keyhole top width and bottom width

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Fig. 5 Comparison of experimental SEM image and CtFD simulated melt pool with beam diameters of(a)700 μm,(b)1000 μm, and(c)1300 μm and an absorption rate of 0.3. Electron beam power and scan speed are 900 W and 100 mm s-1, respectively

추가 생산용 전자빔 조사에 의한 316L 스테인리스 용융 · 응고 거동

Melting and Solidification Behavior of 316L Steel Induced by Electron-Beam Irradiation for Additive Manufacturing

付加製造用電子ビーム照射による 316L ステンレス鋼の溶融・凝固挙動

奥 川 将 行*・宮 田 雄一朗*・王     雷*・能 勢 和 史*
小 泉 雄一郎*・中 野 貴 由*
Masayuki OKUGAWA, Yuichiro MIYATA, Lei WANG, Kazufumi NOSE,
Yuichiro KOIZUMI and Takayoshi NAKANO

Abstract

적층 제조(AM) 기술은 복잡한 형상의 3D 부품을 쉽게 만들고 미세 구조 제어를 통해 재료 특성을 크게 제어할 수 있기 때문에 많은 관심을 받았습니다. PBF(Powderbed fusion) 방식의 AM 공정에서는 금속 분말을 레이저나 전자빔으로 녹이고 응고시키는 과정을 반복하여 3D 부품을 제작합니다.

일반적으로 응고 미세구조는 Hunt[Mater. 과학. 영어 65, 75(1984)]. 그러나 CET 이론이 일반 316L 스테인리스강에서도 높은 G와 R로 인해 PBF형 AM 공정에 적용될 수 있을지는 불확실하다.

본 연구에서는 미세구조와 응고 조건 간의 관계를 밝히기 위해 전자빔 조사에 의해 유도된 316L 강의 응고 미세구조를 분석하고 CtFD(Computational Thermal-Fluid Dynamics) 방법을 사용하여 고체/액체 계면에서의 응고 조건을 평가했습니다.

CET 이론과 반대로 높은 G 조건에서 등축 결정립이 종종 형성되는 것으로 밝혀졌다. CtFD 시뮬레이션은 약 400 mm s-1의 속도까지 유체 흐름이 있음을 보여 주며 수상 돌기의 파편 및 이동의 영향으로 등축 결정립이 형성됨을 시사했습니다.

Additive manufacturing(AM)technologies have attracted much attention because it enables us to build 3D parts with complicated geometry easily and control material properties significantly via the control of microstructures. In the powderbed fusion(PBF)type AM process, 3D parts are fabricated by repeating a process of melting and solidifying metal powders by laser or electron beams. In general, the solidification microstructures can be predicted from solidification conditions defined by the combination of temperature gradient G and solidification rate R on the basis of columnar-equiaxed transition(CET)theory proposed by Hunt [Mater. Sci. Eng. 65, 75(1984)]. However, it is unclear whether the CET theory can be applied to the PBF type AM process because of the high G and R, even for general 316L stainless steel. In this study, to reveal relationships between microstructures and solidification conditions, we have analyzed solidification microstructures of 316L steel induced by electronbeam irradiation and evaluated solidification conditions at the solid/liquid interface using a computational thermal-fluid dynamics (CtFD)method. It was found that equiaxed grains were often formed under high G conditions contrary to the CET theory. CtFD simulation revealed that there is a fluid flow up to a velocity of about 400 mm s-1, and suggested that equiaxed grains are formed owing to the effect of fragmentations and migrations of dendrites.

Keywords

Additive Manufacturing, 316L Stainless Steel, Powder Bed Fusion, Electron Beam Melting, Computational Thermal
Fluid Dynamics Simulation

Fig. 1 Width, height, and height differences calculated from laser microscope analysis of melt tracks formed by scanning electron beam. Fig. 2(a)Scanning electron microscope(SEM)image and(b) corresponding electron back-scattering diffraction(EBSD) IPF-map taken from the electron-beam irradiated region in P900-V100 sample. Fig. 3 Average grain size and their aspect ratio calculated from EBSD IPF-map taken from the electron-beam irradiated region.
Fig. 1 Width, height, and height differences calculated from laser microscope analysis of melt tracks formed by scanning electron beam. Fig. 2(a)Scanning electron microscope(SEM)image and(b) corresponding electron back-scattering diffraction(EBSD) IPF-map taken from the electron-beam irradiated region in P900-V100 sample. Fig. 3 Average grain size and their aspect ratio calculated from EBSD IPF-map taken from the electron-beam irradiated region.
Fig. 4 Comparison of experimental SEM image and computational thermal fluid dynamics(CtFD)simulated melt pool with a beam diameter of 700 μm and absorption rates of(a)0.3,(b)0.5, and (c)0.7. Electron beam power and scan speed are 900 W and 100 mm s-1, respectively.
Fig. 4 Comparison of experimental SEM image and computational thermal fluid dynamics(CtFD)simulated melt pool with a beam diameter of 700 μm and absorption rates of(a)0.3,(b)0.5, and (c)0.7. Electron beam power and scan speed are 900 W and 100 mm s-1, respectively.
Fig. 5 Comparison of experimental SEM image and CtFD simulated melt pool with beam diameters of(a)700 μm,(b)1000 μm, and(c)1300 μm and an absorption rate of 0.3. Electron beam power and scan speed are 900 W and 100 mm s-1, respectively
Fig. 5 Comparison of experimental SEM image and CtFD simulated melt pool with beam diameters of(a)700 μm,(b)1000 μm, and(c)1300 μm and an absorption rate of 0.3. Electron beam power and scan speed are 900 W and 100 mm s-1, respectively
Fig. 6 Depth of melt tracks calculated from experimental SEM image and CtFD simulation results.
Fig. 6 Depth of melt tracks calculated from experimental SEM image and CtFD simulation results.
Fig. 7 G-R plots of 316L steel colored by(a)aspect ratio of crystalline grains and(b)fluid velocity.
Fig. 7 G-R plots of 316L steel colored by(a)aspect ratio of crystalline grains and(b)fluid velocity.
Fig. 8 Comparison of solidification microstructure(EBSD IPF-map)of melt region formed by scanning electron beam and corresponding snap shot of CtFD simulation colored by fluid velocity
Fig. 8 Comparison of solidification microstructure(EBSD IPF-map)of melt region formed by scanning electron beam and corresponding snap shot of CtFD simulation colored by fluid velocity

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electromagnetic metal casting computation designs Fig1

A survey of electromagnetic metal casting computation designs, present approaches, future possibilities, and practical issues

The European Physical Journal Plus volume 136, Article number: 704 (2021) Cite this article

Abstract

Electromagnetic metal casting (EMC) is a casting technique that uses electromagnetic energy to heat metal powders. It is a faster, cleaner, and less time-consuming operation. Solid metals create issues in electromagnetics since they reflect the electromagnetic radiation rather than consume it—electromagnetic energy processing results in sounded pieces with higher-ranking material properties and a more excellent microstructure solution. For the physical production of the electromagnetic casting process, knowledge of electromagnetic material interaction is critical. Even where the heated material is an excellent electromagnetic absorber, the total heating quality is sometimes insufficient. Numerical modelling works on finding the proper coupled effects between properties to bring out the most effective operation. The main parameters influencing the quality of output of the EMC process are: power dissipated per unit volume into the material, penetration depth of electromagnetics, complex magnetic permeability and complex dielectric permittivity. The contact mechanism and interference pattern also, in turn, determines the quality of the process. Only a few parameters, such as the environment’s temperature, the interference pattern, and the rate of metal solidification, can be controlled by AI models. Neural networks are used to achieve exact outcomes by stimulating the neurons in the human brain. Additive manufacturing (AM) is used to design mold and cores for metal casting. The models outperformed the traditional DFA optimization approach, which is susceptible to local minima. The system works only offline, so real-time analysis and corrections are not yet possible.

Korea Abstract

전자기 금속 주조 (EMC)는 전자기 에너지를 사용하여 금속 분말을 가열하는 주조 기술입니다. 더 빠르고 깨끗하며 시간이 덜 소요되는 작업입니다.

고체 금속은 전자기 복사를 소비하는 대신 반사하기 때문에 전자기학에서 문제를 일으킵니다. 전자기 에너지 처리는 더 높은 등급의 재료 특성과 더 우수한 미세 구조 솔루션을 가진 사운드 조각을 만듭니다.

전자기 주조 공정의 물리적 생산을 위해서는 전자기 물질 상호 작용에 대한 지식이 중요합니다. 가열된 물질이 우수한 전자기 흡수재인 경우에도 전체 가열 품질이 때때로 불충분합니다. 수치 모델링은 가장 효과적인 작업을 이끌어 내기 위해 속성 간의 적절한 결합 효과를 찾는데 사용됩니다.

EMC 공정의 출력 품질에 영향을 미치는 주요 매개 변수는 단위 부피당 재료로 분산되는 전력, 전자기의 침투 깊이, 복합 자기 투과성 및 복합 유전율입니다. 접촉 메커니즘과 간섭 패턴 또한 공정의 품질을 결정합니다. 환경 온도, 간섭 패턴 및 금속 응고 속도와 같은 몇 가지 매개 변수 만 AI 모델로 제어 할 수 있습니다.

신경망은 인간 뇌의 뉴런을 자극하여 정확한 결과를 얻기 위해 사용됩니다. 적층 제조 (AM)는 금속 주조용 몰드 및 코어를 설계하는 데 사용됩니다. 모델은 로컬 최소값에 영향을 받기 쉬운 기존 DFA 최적화 접근 방식을 능가했습니다. 이 시스템은 오프라인에서만 작동하므로 실시간 분석 및 수정은 아직 불가능합니다.

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Fig. 9 (a) Velocity field, keyhole profile, and breakage of the keyhole to form bubble and (b) 2D temperature and velocity field along the longitudinal section

A Numerical Study on the Keyhole Formation During Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process

Keyhole에 대한 수치적 연구 : 레이저 분말 중 형성 베드 퓨전 공정

Subin Shrestha1
J.B. Speed School of Engineering,University of Louisville,Louisville, KY 40292
e-mail: subin.shrestha@louisville.edu

Y. Kevin Chou
J.B. Speed School of Engineering,University of Louisville,Louisville, KY 40292
e-mail: kevin.chou@louisville.edu

LPBF (Laser Powder Bed fusion) 공정 중 용융 풀의 동적 현상은 복잡하고 공정 매개 변수에 민감합니다. 에너지 밀도 입력이 특정 임계 값을 초과하면 키홀이라고 하는 거대한 증기 함몰이 형성 될 수 있습니다.

이 연구는 수치 분석을 통해 LPBF 과정에서 키홀 거동 및 관련 기공 형성을 이해하는 데 중점을 둡니다. 이를 위해 이산 분말 입자가 있는 열 유동 모델이 개발되었습니다.

이산 요소 방법 (DEM)에서 얻은 분말 분포는 계산 영역에 통합되어 FLOW-3D를 사용하는 3D 프로세스 물리학 모델을 개발합니다.

전도 모드 중 용융 풀 형성과 용융의 키홀 모드가 식별되고 설명되었습니다. 높은 에너지 밀도는 증기 기둥의 형성으로 이어지고 결과적으로 레이저 스캔 트랙 아래에 구멍이 생깁니다.

또한 다양한 레이저 출력과 스캔 속도로 인한 Keyhole 모양을 조사합니다. 수치 결과는 동일한 에너지 밀도에서도 레이저 출력이 증가함에 따라 Keyhole크기가 증가 함을 나타냅니다. Keyhole은 더 높은 출력에서 ​​안정되어 레이저 스캔 중 Keyhole 발생을 줄일 수 있습니다.

The dynamic phenomenon of a melt pool during the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process is complex and sensitive to process parameters. As the energy density input exceeds a certain threshold, a huge vapor depression may form, known as the keyhole. This study focuses on understanding the keyhole behavior and related pore formation during the LPBF process through numerical analysis. For this purpose, a thermo-fluid model with discrete powder particles is developed. The powder distribution, obtained from a discrete element method (DEM), is incorporated into the computational domain to develop a 3D process physics model using flow-3d. The melt pool formation during the conduction mode and the keyhole mode of melting has been discerned and explained. The high energy density leads to the formation of a vapor column and consequently pores under the laser scan track. Further, the keyhole shape resulted from different laser powers and scan speeds is investigated. The numerical results indicated that the keyhole size increases with the increase in the