Swansea University Additive Manufacturing Research

Swansea University Additive Manufacturing Research aims to understand and develop additive manufacturing processes (particularly powder bed laser fusion) through:

  • Development of novel metal powders
  • Characterisation of mechanical and thermodynamics properties of powders and as-built material
  • Computational simulation of all aspects of the process from gas flow, to powder/laser interaction at the microscale through to residual stress prediction at the macroscale
  • Novel applications with optimised functionality which take advantage of the geometrical freedom of PBLF

Methods: computational engineering, material properties, powder Metallurgy, additive manufacturing.

Swansea University have contributed to AMAZE across many of the WPs, with a primary emphasis on the computational modelling of the powder bed laser fusion process in WP10. Swansea have developed multi-scale multi-physics models (3D Lattice-Boltzmann, discrete element models, thermal finite difference and fluent-based continuum models) which are being used to understand, at a fundamental level, phenomena such as keyholing, evaporation and melt pool instabilities.

The modelling has always been underpinned by physical builds on state-of-the-art powder bed equipment, microscopy/metallography and thermo-physical temperature-dependent properties of the powders and as-built parts. This is exemplified by parts built and tested in ILL neutron beam to measure residual stress, and contributions to the APOD 14 (Invar parts and demonstrators) and APOD 15 (measurements of thermal expansion of Mo- and Wpowder bed materials).

Another area where Swansea University has contributed has been in WP9 ‘Life-Cycle Assessment’, primarily by logging power, gas usage and consumables over a one-year campaign with Ti-6Al-4V.