SIM-AM 2023

Thermal and Mechanical calibration of multi-material DED AM process simulations on part-scale

  • Vroon, Jos (NLR – Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre)
  • van der Eems, Arjen (NLR – Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre)
  • van den Brink, Wouter (NLR – Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre)

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Metal additive manufacturing is increasingly used in the aerospace industry. One of the processes that show particular promise for aerospace applications (especially the repair and multi-material capabilities) is Directed Energy Deposition (DED) [1]. In addition to this manufacturing technology, numerical models and simulations have proven useful in optimizing the metal additive manufacturing process [2]. This research focuses on the numerical simulation of the DED printing process. It shows a two-part technique that uses a sequential thermal and mechanical method implemented in Abaqus. This research defines calibration for both thermal and mechanical methods. For the thermal simulation, a calibration print was made followed by measurements of the temperature and calibration using these measurements (for one material). For the mechanical simulations, a similar approach was followed. A cantilever print was designed to deform predictably. This design gives the freedom to print different geometries and materials to investigate the effects on the deformation. After printing the cantilevers the deformation was measured. This was done for both a single-material and a multi-material print. The mechanical simulations were calibrated on the measurements of the mechanical prints. The results show that the calibration of the thermal properties can be done well. The results of the physical print can be reproduced by the simulations. The calibration of the mechanical properties and simulation method was more challenging. It was shown that this mechanical calibration is not possible using a single set of calibration samples resulting in lower accuracy of the simulation. It is unclear what causes this, it is theorised that the material properties of the print are highly dependent on the printing process and it’s difficult to control variables. This research shows the calibration of a simulation method of a metal additive manufacturing process (DED). The results show that more research into material properties is needed. It is recommended to investigate material properties after printing. Also, it should be investigated if material properties can be predicted from simulation results, possibly from micro-structure predictions based on simulation.