Abstract

Electron Beam Melting (EBM) is a novel additive manufacturing process capable of producing production-quality metal components. The physics of EBM are complex, involving highly non-linear heat and mass transfer effects. Understanding these physical phenomena is key to producing quality components.

In this study, a variety of analytical and numerical models are demonstrated to characterize the relationship between material properties, process parameters, and the resulting physical behavior during printing, with Ti-6Al-4V and Inconel 718 as test cases. The thermal and fluid flow behaviors are analyzed with several dimensionless numbers and the sensitivity to various factors is discussed. Radiative and evaporative heat loss are calculated, taking into account the effects of activity coefficient on vapor pressures in an alloy system. Compositional losses during printing are calculated and a method to optimize composition is discussed.

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