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Melt Pool Flow and Surface Evolution During Pulsed Laser Micro Polishing of Ti6Al4V

[+] Author Affiliations
Chao Ma, Madhu Vadali, Neil A. Duffie, Frank E. Pfefferkorn, Xiaochun Li

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Paper No. MSEC2013-1117, pp. V001T01A054; 9 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference collocated with the 41st North American Manufacturing Research Conference
  • Volume 1: Processing
  • Madison, Wisconsin, USA, June 10–14, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Manufacturing Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5545-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Extensive experimental work has shown that pulsed laser micro polishing (PLμP) is effective for polishing micro metallic parts. However, the process physics have not been fully understood yet, especially with respect to the melt pool flow. A reliable physical model can be of significant assistance in understanding the fluid flow in the melt pool and its effect on PLμP. In this paper, a two-dimensional axisymmetric transient model that couples heat transfer and fluid flow is described that was constructed using the finite element method. The model not only provided the solutions to the temperature and velocity fields but also predicted the surface profile evolution on a free deformable surface. The simulated melt depth and resolidified surface profiles matched those obtained from optical images of PLμPed sample cross-sections. The model was also used to study the effect of laser pulse duration on the melt pool flow. The study suggests that longer pulses produce more significant fluid flows. The cut-off pulse duration below which minimal fluid flows should be expected was estimated to be 0.66 μs for Ti6Al4V, which also matched well with the experimental results. It is evident that the coupled model offers reliable predictions and thus can be extended for a more complex parametric study to provide further insights for PLμP.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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