June 14, 2024
additive manufacturing

Unlocking the Potential of Additive Manufacturing: Revealing the Secrets of Pore Evolution

A recent collaborative effort between Queen Mary University of London, University College London (UCL), Rolls-Royce, and an international research team has delved into the mysteries of pore evolution in directed energy deposition (DED) additive manufacturing. The study, featured in Nature Communications, marks a significant milestone in the quest for safer and more efficient production of high-value components in diverse industries.

DED technology is a groundbreaking method that constructs complex structures layer by layer, making it particularly suitable for creating intricate geometries in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, marine, and even biomedicine. Moreover, it offers immense potential for repairing critical parts like damaged jet turbine blades. However, the widespread adoption of DED has been hindered by the unpredictable occurrence of pores during the manufacturing process. These minuscule air pockets compromise the strength of components, posing performance risks and safety hazards.

Dr. Chinnapat Panwisawas, Senior Lecturer in Materials and Solid Mechanics at Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, highlights that, up until now, the mechanisms governing pore formation and evolution in DED have remained enigmatic. The recent study has unveiled crucial insights into this phenomenon, identifying five distinct processes that influence pore behavior. These include gas bubble migration and coalescence, effects of surface tension, and entrapment by solidification fronts.

The researchers leveraged advanced in situ X-ray imaging and multi-physics modeling to attain this breakthrough. Their comprehensive findings offer a detailed comprehension of how pores originate, migrate, and interact within the melt pool during DED. This knowledge sets the stage for devising targeted approaches to mitigate pore formation.

Dr. Panwisawas underscores the significance of this discovery in optimizing DED’s capabilities. By reducing porosity, the mechanical properties of components can be enhanced, rendering DED a viable choice for safety-critical applications. Ultimately, this could lead to the production of sturdier, safer, and more dependable components across a spectrum of industries.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it