Thermographic Measurements of the Commercial Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process at NIST

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Lane, Brandon
Moylan, Shawn
Whitenton, Eric
Ma, Li

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University of Texas at Austin


Measurement of the high-temperature melt pool region in the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process is a primary focus of researchers to further understand the dynamic physics of the heating, melting, adhesion, and cooling which define this commercially popular additive manufacturing process. This paper will detail the design, execution, and results of high speed, high magnification in-situ thermographic measurements conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) focusing on the melt pool region of a commercial L-PBF process. Multiple phenomena are observed including plasma plume and hot particle ejection from the melt region. The thermographic measurement process will be detailed with emphasis on the ‘measurability’ of observed phenomena and the sources of measurement uncertainty. Further discussion will relate these thermographic results to other efforts at NIST towards L-PBF process finite element simulation and development of in-situ sensing and control methodologies.


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