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Observation of spatter-induced stochastic lack-of-fusion in laser powder bed fusion using in situ process monitoring...

by Zackary K Snow, Luke R Scime, Amir K Ziabari, Brian Fisher, Vincent C Paquit
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Additive Manufacturing
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Material produced via additive manufacturing (AM) continues to exhibit variable mechanical properties despite apparent optimization of processing parameters, inhibiting qualification efforts and limiting use in critical applications. Stochastic lack-of-fusion flaws may help explain this variability, but the origin of these seemingly random defects has to this point remained unclear. In this work, we show that spatter particles, material ejected from the laser melt pool, are directly responsible for generating stochastic lack-of-fusion in laser-based powder bed fusion components through the application of spatial statistics. A statistically significant, causal relationship between spatter particles and stochastic lack-of-fusion is established, and the spatial and morphological relationships between spatter and internal flaws are investigated. The occurrence of spatter-induced lack-of-fusion in relation to the inert gas flow and laser trajectory direction is also investigated, and recommendations for mitigating the occurrence of spatter are evaluated.