Measurement of forced surface convection in directed energy deposition additive manufacturing

Jarred C. Heigel, Pan Michaleris, Todd A. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The accurate modeling of thermal gradients and distortion generated by directed energy deposition additive manufacturing requires a thorough understanding of the underlying physical processes. One area that has the potential to significantly affect the accuracy of thermomechanical simulations is the complex forced convection created by the inert gas jets that are used to deliver metal powder to the melt pool and to shield the laser optics and the molten material. These jets act on part surfaces with higher temperatures than those in similar processes such as welding and consequently have a greater impact on the prevailing heat transfer mechanisms. A methodology is presented here which uses hot-film sensors and constant voltage anemometry to measure the forced convection generated during additive manufacturing processes. This methodology is then demonstrated by characterizing the convection generated by a Precitec® YC50 deposition head under conditions commonly encountered in additive manufacturing. Surface roughness, nozzle configuration, and surface orientation are shown to have the greatest impact on the convection measurements, while the impact from the flow rate is negligible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1308
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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