Additive manufacturing (AM), a method in which a part is fabricated layer by layer from a digital design package, provides the potential to produce complex components at reduced cost and time. Many techniques (using many different names) have been developed to accomplish this via melting or solid-state joining. However, to date, only a handful can be used to produce metallic parts that fulfill the requirements of industrial applications. The thermal physics and weld pool behaviors in metal AM process have decisive influence on the deposition quality, the microstructure and service performance of the depositions. Accurate analysis and calculation of thermal processes and weld pool behaviors are of great significance to the metallurgy analysis, stress and deformation analysis, process control and process optimization etc. Numerical modeling is also a necessary way to turn welding from qualitative description and experience-based art into quantitative analysis- and science-based engineering branch. In this chapter, two techniques for producing metal parts are explored, with a focus on the thermal science of metal AM: fluid flow and heat transfer. Selective laser melting (SLM) is the one that is most widely used because it typically has the best resolution. Another is named metal fused-coated additive manufacturing (MFCAM) that is cost competitive and efficient in producing large and middle-complex components in aerospace applications.
Part of the book: Heat and Mass Transfer