Heat Transfer Manipulation for Precision Droplet Manufacturing: Simulation and Experiment

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Michaelis, Matthew
Zhu, Jun
Orme, Melissa

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The solid free-form fabrication (SFF) of arbitrary metallic components is accomplished with controlled deposition of nano-liter molten droplets generated by capillary stream break-up and deposited at rates on the order of 10,000 drops/second. By varying the droplet arrival temperature, deposition rate, and substrate temperature in both the simulation and experiment, we seek to obtain a thorough understanding of the heat transfer phenomena that governs the SFF component quality. Of specific interest is the removal of inter-splat boundaries in order to achieve a high quality component, characterized by a uniform and fine microstructure, by having newly arriving drops remelt a thin layer of the previously deposited and solidified material. A numerical model, which simulates the heat transfer manipulation, is used to understand and guide the process development.



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