Surface morphology evolution mechanisms of laser polishing in ambient gas

Wenjie Wang, Ping Zou*, Jilin Xu, Kornel F. Ehmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser polishing, as an effective surface finishing process, is significantly affected by ambient gas. Previous studies on the contribution of ambient gas to laser polishing mostly focused on experiments, but rarely on numerical simulations. Given this, this paper proposes an improved model capable of analyzing the effects of ambient gas on the laser-polished surface's morphology evolution mechanisms, by expanding an existing laser polishing model with the influences of mass transfer, solutocapillary forces, and chemical reactions. Argon and air were used as ambient gasses for comparison. Through this model, the surface morphology evolution of laser polishing in air was compared with that in argon in terms of the velocity field, temperature field, concentration field, melt surface velocity, molten pool surface profile, and surface forces. The respective contributions of chemical reaction heat, oxygen mass flux, mass transfer, and surface forces were also presented. Furthermore, the numerical model was verified on 304 stainless steel from the perspectives of polished surface roughness, molten pool depth, and oxygen element distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108302
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
StatePublished - Jul 15 2023


  • 304 stainless steel
  • Ambient gas
  • Laser polishing
  • Numerical model
  • Surface morphology evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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