Simulating Melt Pool Shape and Lack of Fusion Porosity for Selective Laser Melting of Cobalt Chromium Components

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering






Cobalt chromium is widely used to make medical implants and wind turbine, engine and aircraft components because of its high wear and corrosion resistance. The ability to process geometrically complex components is an area of intense interest to enable shifting from traditional manufacturing techniques to additive manufacturing (AM). The major reason for using AM is to ease design modification and optimization since AM machines can directly apply the changes from an updated STL file to print a geometrically complex object. Quality assurance for AM fabricated parts is recognized as a critical limitation of AM processes. In selective laser melting (SLM), layer by layer melting and remelting can lead to porosity defects caused by lack of fusion, balling, and keyhole collapse. Machine process parameter optimization becomes a very important task and is usually accomplished by producing a large amount of experimental coupons with different combinations of process parameters such as laser power, speed, hatch spacing, and powder layer thickness. In order to save the cost and time of these experimental trial and error methods, many researchers have attempted to simulate defect formation in SLM. Many physics-based assumptions must be made to model these processes, and thus, all the models are limited in some aspects. In the present work, we investigated single bead melt pool shapes for SLM of CoCr to tune the physics assumptions and then, applied to the model to predict bulk lack of fusion porosity within the finished parts. The simulation results were compared and validated against experimental results and show a high degree of correlation.