Powder-scale multi-physics modeling of multi-layer multi-track selective laser melting with sharp interface capturing method

Zekun Wang, Wentao Yan, Wing Kam Liu, Moubin Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


As a promising powder-based additive manufacturing technology, selective laser melting (SLM) has gained great popularity in recent years. However, experimental observation of the melting and solidification process is very challenging. This hinders the study of the physical mechanisms behind a variety of phenomena in SLM such as splashing and balling effects, and further poses challenges to the quality control of the products. Powder-scale computational models can reproduce the multi-physics process of SLM. In this study, we couple the Finite Volume Method (FVM) and Discrete Element Method to model the deposition of powder particles, and use the FVM to model the melting process, both with ambient air. In particular, a cutting-edge sharp surface capturing technique (iso-Advector) is incorporated into the Volume of Fluid Model to reconstruct the interface between different phases during the melting process. Iso-Advector is then used to capture and reconstruct the interface between molten material and ambient air, which is further used as a solid boundary for spreading the next powder layer. As such, 3D geometrical data is exchanged between these two stages repeatedly to reproduce the powder spreading-melting process of SLM incorporating different scan paths on multiple powder layers. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the powder-scale multi-physics modeling framework, typical scenarios with different fabrication parameters (Ti–6Al–4V powder) are simulated and compared with experimental observations available in literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-661
Number of pages13
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Additive manufacture
  • Interface reconstruction
  • Iso-Advector
  • Selective laser melting
  • Thermal multiphase flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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