In Situ Additive Manufacturing Process Monitoring With an Acoustic Technique: Clustering Performance Evaluation Using K-Means Algorithm

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Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering




Additive manufacturing (AM) is based on layer-by-layer addition of materials. It gives design flexibility and potential to decrease costs and manufacturing lead time. Because the AM process involves incremental deposition of materials, it provides unique opportunities to investigate the material quality as it is deposited. Development of in situ monitoring methodologies is a vital part of the assessment of process performance and understanding of defects formation. In situ process monitoring provides the capability for early detection of process faults and defects. Due to the sensitivity of AM processes to different factors such as laser and material properties, any changes in aspects of the process can potentially have an impact on the part quality. As a result, in-process monitoring of AM is crucial to assure the quality, integrity, and safety of AM parts. There are various sensors and techniques that have been used for in situ process monitoring. In this work, acoustic signatures were used for in situ monitoring of the metal direct energy deposition (DED) AM process operating under different process conditions. Correlations were demonstrated between metrics and various process conditions. Demonstrated correlation between the acoustic signatures and the manufacturing process conditions shows the capability of acoustic technique for in situ monitoring of the additive manufacturing process. To identify the different process conditions, a new approach of K-means statistical clustering algorithm is used for the classification of different process conditions, and quantitative evaluation of the classification performance in terms of cohesion and isolation of the clusters. The identified acoustic signatures, quantitative clustering approach, and the achieved classification efficiency demonstrate potential for use in in situ acoustic monitoring and quality control for the additive manufacturing process.