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Measurement Uncertainty of Surface Temperature Distributions for Laser Powder Bed Fusion Processes



David Deisenroth, Sergey Mekhontsev, Brandon Lane, Leonard M. Hanssen, Ivan Zhirnov, Vladimir Khromchenko, Steven Grantham, Daniel Cardenas-Garcia, Alkan Donmez


This paper describes advances in measuring the characteristic spatial distribution of surface temperature and emissivity during laser-metal interaction under conditions relevant for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing processes. Detailed descriptions of the measurement process, results, and approaches to determining uncertainties are provided. Measurement uncertainties have complex dependencies on multiple process parameters, so the methodology is demonstrated on one set of process parameters and one material. Well-established literature values for high-purity nickel solidification temperature and emissivity at the solidification temperature were used to evaluate the predicted uncertainty of the measurements. The standard temperature measurement uncertainty is found to be approximately 0.9 % of the absolute temperature (16 °C), and the standard relative emissivity measurement uncertainty is found to be approximately 8 % at the solidification point of high-purity nickel, both of which are satisfactory. This paper also outlines several potential sources of test uncertainties, which may require additional experimental evaluation. The largest of these are the metal vapor and ejecta that are produced as process by-products, which can potentially affect the imaging quality, reflectometry results, and thermal signature of the process, while also affecting the process of laser power delivery. Furthermore, the current paper focuses strictly on the uncertainties of the emissivity and temperature measurement approach and therefore does not detail a variety of uncertainties associated with experimental controls that must be evaluated for future generation of reference data.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


additive manufacturing, emissivity, measurement uncertainty, powder bed fusion, reflectometry, temperature, thermography


Deisenroth, D. , Mekhontsev, S. , Lane, B. , Hanssen, L. , Zhirnov, I. , Khromchenko, V. , Grantham, S. , Cardenas-Garcia, D. and Donmez, A. (2021), Measurement Uncertainty of Surface Temperature Distributions for Laser Powder Bed Fusion Processes, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created August 10, 2021