Influence of Material Property Variation on Computationally Calculated Melt Pool Temperature during Laser Melting Process

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Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is a popular additive manufacturing (AM) method where a laser beam selectively melts powder layer by layer based on the building geometry. The melt pool peak temperature during build process is an important parameter to determine build quality of a fabricated component by SLM process. The melt pool temperature depends on process parameters including laser power, scanning speed, and hatch space as well as the properties of the build material. In this paper, the sensitivity of melt pool peak temperature during the build process to temperature dependent material properties including density, specific heat, and thermal conductivity are investigated for a range of laser powers and laser scanning speeds. It is observed that the melt pool temperature is most sensitive to melt pool thermal conductivity of the processed material for a set of specific process parameters (e.g., laser power and scan speed). Variations in the other mechanical–physical properties of powder and melt pool such as density and specific heat are found to have minimal effect on melt pool temperature.