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On Thermal Properties of Metallic Powder in Laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing



Shanshan Zhang, Brandon Lane, Justin G. Whiting, Kevin Chou


Powder thermal properties play a critical role in laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing, specifically, the reduced effective thermal conductivity compared to that of the solid significantly affects heat conduction, which can influence the melt pool characteristics, and consequently, the part mechanical properties. This study intends to indirectly measure the thermal conductivity of metallic powder, nickel-based super alloy 625 (IN625) and Ti-6Al-4V (Ti64), in LPBF using a combined approach that consists of laser flash analysis, finite element (FE) heat transfer modeling and a multivariate inverse method. The test specimens were designed and fabricated by a LPBF system to encapsulate powder in a hollow disk to imitate powder-bed conditions. The as-built specimens were then subjected to laser flash testing to measure the transient thermal response. Next, an FE model replicate the hollow disk samples and laser flash testing was developed. A multi-point optimization algorithm was used to inversely extract the thermal conductivity of LPBF powder from the FE model based on the measured transient thermal response. The results indicate that the thermal conductivity of IN625 powder used in LPBF ranges from 0.65 W/(m∙K) to 1.02 W/(m∙K) at 100 °C and 500 °C, respectively, showing a linear relationship with the temperature. On the other hand, Ti64 powder has a lower thermal conductivity than IN625 powder, about 35 % to 40 % smaller. However, the thermal conductivity ratio of the powder to the respective solid counterpart is quite similar between the two materials, about 4.2 % to 6.9 % for IN625 and 3.6 % to 5.2 % for Ti64.
SME Journal of Manufacturing Processes


laser powder-bed fusion, laser flash, finite element modeling, inverse method, powder thermal conductivity


Zhang, S. , Lane, B. , Whiting, J. and Chou, K. (2019), On Thermal Properties of Metallic Powder in Laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing, SME Journal of Manufacturing Processes, [online],, (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created September 11, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021