Camera signal dependencies within coaxial melt pool monitoring in laser powder bed fusion

Kolb T, Elahi R, Seeger J, Soris M, Scheitler CJ, Hentschel O, Tremel J, Schmidt M (2019)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2019


DOI: 10.1108/RPJ-01-2019-0022


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the signal dependency of the camera-based coaxial monitoring system QMMeltpool 3D (Concept Laser GmbH, Lichtenfels, Germany) for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) under the variation of process parameters, position, direction and layer thickness to determine the capability of the system. Because such and similar monitoring systems are designed and presented for quality assurance in series production, it is important to present the dominant signal influences and limitations. Design/methodology/approach: Hardware of the commercially available coaxial monitoring QMMeltpool 3D is used to investigate the thermal emission of the interaction zone during LPBF. The raw images of the camera are analysed by means of image processing to bypass the software of QMMeltpool 3D and to gain a high level of signal understanding. Laser power, scan speed, laser spot diameter and powder layer thickness were varied for single-melt tracks to determine the influence of a parameter variation on the measured sensory signals. The effects of the scan direction and position were also analysed in detail. The influence of surface roughness on the detected sensory signals was simulated by a machined substrate plate. Findings: Parameter variations are confirmed to be detectable. Because of strong directional and positional dependencies of the melt-pool monitoring signal a calibration algorithm is necessary. A decreasing signal is detected for increasing layer thickness. Surface roughness is identified as a dominating factor with major influence on the melt-pool monitoring signal exceeding other process flaws. Research limitations/implications: This work was performed with the hardware of a commercially available QMMeltpool 3D system of an LPBF machine M2 of the company Concept Laser GmbH. The results are relevant for all melt-pool monitoring research activities connected to LPBF, as well as for end users and serial production. Originality/value: Surface roughness has not yet been revealed as being one of the most important origins for signal deviations in coaxial melt-pool monitoring. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the direct comparison of influences because of parameters and environment has not been published to this extent. The detection, evaluation and remelting of surface roughness constitute a plausible workflow for closed-loop control in LPBF.

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Kolb, T., Elahi, R., Seeger, J., Soris, M., Scheitler, C.J., Hentschel, O.,... Schmidt, M. (2019). Camera signal dependencies within coaxial melt pool monitoring in laser powder bed fusion. Rapid Prototyping Journal.


Kolb, Tobias, et al. "Camera signal dependencies within coaxial melt pool monitoring in laser powder bed fusion." Rapid Prototyping Journal (2019).

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