Multiscale modeling of electron beam and substrate interaction: a new heat source model

Wentao Yan, Jacob Smith, Wenjun Ge, Feng Lin, Wing Kam Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


An electron beam is a widely applied processing tool in welding and additive manufacturing applications. The heat source model of the electron beam acts as the basis of thermal simulations and predictions of the micro-structures and mechanical properties of the final products. While traditional volumetric and surface heat flux models were developed previously based on the observed shape of the molten pool produced by the beam, a new heat source model with a physically informed foundation has been established in this work. The new model was developed based on Monte Carlo simulations performed to obtain the distribution of absorbed energy through electron-atom collisions for an electron beam with a kinetic energy of 60 keV hitting a Ti–6Al–4V substrate. Thermal simulations of a moving electron beam heating a solid baseboard were conducted to compare the differences between the new heat source model, the traditional surface flux model and the volumetric flux model. Although the molten pool shapes with the three selected models were found to be similar, the predicted peak temperatures were noticeably different, which will influence the evaporation, recoil pressure and molten pool dynamics. The new heat source model was also used to investigate the influence of a static electron beam on a substrate. This investigation indicated that the new heat source model could scientifically explain phenomena that the surface and volumetric models cannot, such as eruption and explosion during electron beam processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-276
Number of pages12
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Electron beam
  • Finite element
  • Heat source model
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Multiscale modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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