Computational Investigation of Melt Pool Process Dynamics and Pore Formation in Laser Powder Bed Fusion

  • Bo ChengEmail author
  • Lukas Loeber
  • Hannes Willeck
  • Udo Hartel
  • Charles Tuffile


In the laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process, the presence of porosity may result in cracks and significantly affects the part performance. A comprehensive understanding of the melt pool process dynamics and porosity evolution can help to improve build quality. In this study, a novel multi-physics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has been applied to investigate the fluid dynamics in melt pools and resultant pore defects. To accurately capture the melting and solidification process, major process physics, such as the surface tension, evaporation as well as laser multi-reflection, have been considered in the model. A discrete element method is utilized to model the generation of powder spreading upon build plate by additional numerical simulations. Multiple single track experiments have been performed to obtain the melt pool shape and cross-sectional dimension information. The predicted melt pool dimensions were found to have a reasonable agreement with experimental measurements, e.g., the errors are in the range of 1.3 to 10.6% for melt pool width, while they are between 1.4 and 15.9% for melt depth. Pores are captured by both CFD simulation and x-ray computed tomography measurement for the case with a laser power of 350 W and laser speed of 100 mm/s. The formation of keyholes maybe related to the melt pool front wall angle, and it is found that the front wall angle increases with the increase in laser line energy density. In addition, a larger laser power or smaller scanning speed can help to generate keyhole-induced pores; they also contribute to produce larger sized pores.


additive manufacturing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) discrete element method (DEM) keyhole melt pool stainless steel 



The authors would like to thank Michael Kuntzer for the preparation of L-PBF experiments.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Cheng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lukas Loeber
    • 2
  • Hannes Willeck
    • 2
  • Udo Hartel
    • 2
  • Charles Tuffile
    • 1
  1. 1.Robert Bosch LLC, Research and Technology CenterCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Robert Bosch GmbHRenningenGermany

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