Additive manufacturing processes are key to changing the manufacturing landscape for years to come. Despite this however, these processes are not entirely understood. One such process, the LENS system, and its incorporation mechanisms of metal particles into a melt pool are incredibly complex. Therefore, an investigation of those mechanism was undertaken as a way to understand and improve the LENS additive manufacturing process. High-speed videos made it possible to observe the interactions between particles and the melt pool. The interactions were categorized in order to find trends that presented themselves throughout the data. Multiple correlations were drawn between surface tension characteristics, incorporation speeds, particle size, particle behavior, particle location, and the timing of each event. From these correlations, it is possible to conclude that surface tension plays a large role in the incorporation mechanism, but other mitigating factors, such as oxide layers or additional particle heating should not be discounted. It is also likely that particle incorporation time is heavily dependent upon particle location, particle size, and the timing of the event with respect to the overall process.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission